This week we had grand jury in Upson County and in Spalding County on the same day. It’s always interesting to watch the reactions of grand jurors as we open file after file and bombard them with testimony about crimes in their community. It is easy for them to conclude that they live in a dangerous place.
So, I decided to crunch some numbers. You can do the same by an internet search of FBI crime statistics. I looked at the 2012 figures, since those are the most recent complete statistics.
If you live in Griffin, the numbers aren’t pretty. One in 118 residents was a victim of violent crime in 2012. One in 14 was a property crime victim.
The news is better around the rest of the circuit. In Thomaston, the violent crime stats were one in 329. But, one out of every 19 residents was a victim of a property crime. In Zebulon, the ratio was 1/196 for violent crimes and 1/39 for property crimes. For Fayetteville, one of every 652 residents was a victim of violent crime and the property crime ratio was 1/41. The Peachtree City numbers were 1/2341 for violent crime and 1/77 for property crimes. Finally, Tyrone’s violent crime ratio was 1/3516 and the property crime ratio was 1/66.
Wonder how this compares to areas outside the circuit? Here’s a chart:
CITY VIOLENT CRIME RATIO PROPERTY CRIME RATIO
Jonesboro 1/192 1/21
Barnesville 1/190 1/29
Union City 1/122 1/12
Morrow 1/193 1/6
College Park 1/49 1/8
McDonough 1/378 1/31
Atlanta 1/72 1/15
Newnan 1/273 1/30
Senoia 1/1134 1/83
These numbers don’t reflect the number of arrests. They don’t address the percentage of crimes that result in prosecutions. And they don’t count crimes that occur outside the city limits in unincorporated areas. They merely count the number of crimes that were reported to law enforcement within a city.
But for those of us dedicated to keeping you safe, they are instructive as to where we need to work harder.
Because these figures represent men, women and children who have the right to live their lives without ever encountering criminals.
And we were reminded this week that when criminals do interfere with the citizens, grand jurors step forward to hold them accountable.
We’ll take it from there.