As we saw with the Trayvon Martin case, the city of Stanford, Florida has a crime perception issue. Not only was George Zimmerman aware of the pervasiveness of crime near his home, he was aware that most of the crime was being committed by thugs. Which is a nice way of saying black youth with nothing better to do than break into homes and rob hard working taxpayers.
But in Zimmerman's mind crime was out of control and he needed to do something.
In reality Stanford Florida (6.51 violent crimes per 1000 residents) is less safe than Charlotte (5.81 violent crimes per 1000 residents). The nationwide rate is 4.0 per 1000 and in New York it is only 3.92.
CMPD reports that homicides saw a 100 percent increase during the first quarter, this on top of a 32 percent increase during the fourth quarter of 2010. Clearly the perception of crime in Charlotte is that things are out of control.
The two numbers in yesterday's report that should be a concern to those who venture out behind their locked doors are, violent crime which increased from 982 to 1208, quarter to quarter, and auto theft which decreased by nearly 12%.
The two numbers are counter intuitive, in that if crime is up why is the most common of crimes (auto theft) down? Cedar Posts has questioned the auto theft numbers before and a review of any day's mug shots show a substantial number of arrests for "unauthorized use" vs "theft" of automobiles. Seriously are there really that many people just "borrowing" their neighbor's cars?
If the numbers are true, then why in the world are we focused on stopping auto theft when violent crime is so out of control?
It would be nice to just lock up all the thugs, like the brothers who decided that West Trade and Rozzelles Ferry Road looked a lot like Tombstone Arizona and that reenacting the Gun Fight at the OK Corral would be a cool thing to do. Or the 16 year old who brought a loaded hand gun to West Charlotte High School.
I am not concerned with the shop lifters, the hookers, or the bad check writers, if you are breaking into cars, stealing hubcaps or pan handling on Eastway Drive I could care less. But if you are carrying a gun, or you are a violent offender you don't belong outside the razor wire and concrete walls. No second chances, no special school called "right choices" you simply are done. Period! One gun one time game over!
And until the courts and the cops start sending this message we will continue to see violent murders and robberies in Charlotte and the homicide numbers will give the perception that crime in Charlotte is out of control.