D.C. Police continue to struggle with violent crime in the District. It is up considerably when compared with the same time last year.
Robberies, sexual abuse and assault are all on the rise while notably, homicides continue to fall.
Violent crime, especially robberies, has been a major problem in the city for quite some time, and after D.C. Superior Court Judge Ronna Beck was robbed near the tennis stadium a little over a week ago, FOX 5 decided to take a closer look.
We sampled some opinions on the street and asked the police union and the Chief of Police to weigh in.
If you are curious about violent crime in the city and want to know where it is happening, all you have to do is subscribe to the D.C. Police Twitter feed, where you will find a continuous list of robberies and other crimes taking place in every section of the city.
According to statistics listed on the D.C. Police website, violent crime is up 10 percent when compared to the same time last year. Sex abuse is up 43 percent, robbery with a gun up 13 percent, total crime up four percent and homicides are down 23 percent.
But if you stop people on the street and ask their perception of crime, you get some eye opening answers.
One D.C. resident told us he thought it was up 40 percent. Another said 25 to 40 percent, and a third man guessed about 25 percent.
According to the President of the D.C. Police Union, the District is bucking a national trend and there are people to blame.
"Across the nation, crime is down and violent crime is down to historically low numbers," said Kristopher Baumann with the Fraternal Order of Police. "And yet here in D.C., it's up 10 percent citywide. You go out to the sixth and seventh district on the other side of the Anacostia, it's up 15 percent."
"It would be unacceptable if we were following national trends, but we are the opposite. We have a mayor that is so weak that he can't even come out and admit that crime is up, particularly violent crime, because he has so many other problems."
"It's just terrible, makes you fear going out in the evening," said D.C. resident James Wilder.
Another D.C. resident, Byron Buck added, "I have been talking to friends and neighbors and any number of them have now mentioned to me that they have heard of someone who got beat up. There was a woman just a few days ago who got beat up and left on the street."
But D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has another take on the numbers. She says as recently as last February, the violent crime rate was up 35 percent and through hard work, her officers have driven it down.
The Chief also pointed out in an email that in the last three months, robberies have fallen three percent when compared to the same time last year. Lanier also noted burglaries and stolen autos are also down double digits when compared with last year's numbers.
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