Contact: Teresa K. Thorne Executive Director 205.251.0111
For Immediate Release
Already Low Downtown Crime Rate Declines Even Further Stats Show CAP District As Safe As Mountain Brook, Vestavia
Birmingham, AL - New crime statistics released by the City Action Partnership (CAP) indicate that serious crime in the 90-block CAP District downtown dropped 29% in 2009 while violent crime decreased by 35%. The figures, collected by CAP Executive Director Teresa Thorne from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Birmingham Police Department, further indicate that the CAP District is one of the safest places in the entire metro area, as it has been for several years.
According to Ms. Thorne, overall serious crime (defined by the FBI as Murder, Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny , Auto Theft and Arson) in the City of Birmingham dropped 10% last year, a significant accomplishment. Across the U.S., crime decreased an average of 4%. From the inception of CAP in 1995, crime has decreased in the CAP District by 67%! “We owe this to many factors, including the great partnership between CAP and the BPD,” Thorne says.
Thorne also said “By looking at the numbers as a percentage of the chance of one’s being a victim of a crime, we can make a comparison to other areas (cities) that measure crime. Given the caveat that a city uses its population and CAP uses the number of people who work and live downtown, the risk of being a victim of a serious crime is as low as our safest “over the mountain” suburban neighbors.”
The chance being a victim is expressed as a relationship between population and number of crimes. Using the number of people working and living in the downtown for a “population,” the chance of someone in Vestavia, Mountain Brook or the CAP District being a victim of serious crime is about 1 in 100. The risk of being a victim of violent crime downtown is less than 1% of that, or 1 in 1,000. Those figures do not take into consideration the 3.5 million people who come into the downtown for unique events/services at the BJCC, the Art Museum, the Civil Rights Institute, the McWane Science Center, and the Alabama Theater, which would make the rate even lower.
What a Delta Pilot sees when he walks our streets!
The following is an email sent to CAP Officer Glen Robinson after Delta pilot Wesley Walker had a layover in Birmingham. He met Officer Robinson on the street and decided to share his view....
We might want to adjust our own perspective of our City's streets!
Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 8:24 PM
I fly for Delta Air Lines as a Captain. I have flown all over the United States for the last 20 years from the west coast to the east coast. My job takes me to different cities and allows me to see these cities over the years.
I recently had a 30 hour layover in Birmingham and had the chance to walk your city. I have to tell you I was surprised at how nice your city is. From the tree lined streets to the CAP program to the visible police presents, I was very impressed!
Several cities we fly to are in disrepair and dieing. Their downtowns are crime ridden and businesses are leaving in droves. In Dayton Ohio, the only people downtown are the police and homeless. The hair on the back of my neck stood up the whole time I was outside.
It was so bad, I actually went to the mayor's office to find out why they would allow this to happen. She wouldn't take the time to see me.
Birmingham on the other hand is booming with professionally dressed people and kind officers on bikes. I couldn't walk a block without seeing someone on a bike or a police officer. I can't express to you have different this is. I never once felt at risk. If I was in city government, I would adopt your CAP program in a heartbeat. The closest program I have seen is the few visitor helpers on some corners in Memphis.
Keep up the great work. You are making a difference to how visitors see your city. You should be very proud (of) Birmingham!
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