Crime rates in Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 2 precinct, an area that includes Buckhead, rose in 2012 while crime rates in the city’s other five zones decreased, figures released by APD show.
The biggest increase came from theft from auto, and APD spokesman Carlos Campos said the zone commander is working on reducing those rates in 2013.
“You know we really got hit hard by larceny from autos and I know for a fact that Maj. Van Hobbs is on top of this,” Campos said. “He knows this is a huge issue for the zone, for the people who live and work in Zone 2, and he is putting a great emphasis on this.”
Zone 2’s 2012 crime numbers increased by 8 percent a year after the zone’s previous commander received an award for having the biggest drop in crime in 2011. It was the only zone that saw an overall increase, figures show.
Zone 2 serious crimes in 2012 compared with 2011
Homicide: No murders reported for Zone 2 in 2012.
Rape: -29 percent. APD’s Zone 2 received 12 reports of rape in 2012, down from 17 in 2011.
Robbery: -5 percent
Aggravated assault: +16 percent
Burglary: +8 percent
Larceny from vehicle: +27 percent. In 2011, APD’s Zone 2 received 1,664 reports of theft from vehicle. In 2012, Zone 2 received 2,119 reports of theft from vehicle.
Larceny, other: -3 percent
Auto theft: -10 percent
Source: Atlanta police
In late 2011, the beat was redesigned to include 3 square miles from Zone 6. The zone now includes the Cheshire Bridge Road/Morningside corridor, and officers are also responsible for Cheshire Bridge Road’s strip clubs and other adult attractions.
Zone 2 Commander Maj. Van Hobbs told the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods on Jan. 10 said the addition of Cheshire Bridge could be part of the reason rates went up.
“It may be our calls are up … because of that area we got,” Hobbs said, answering a question from District 8 Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean about the impact of the zone expansion.
Campos said when the APD examined and added up all Zone 2 crimes, it “retrofitted” the 2011 numbers as if Cheshire Bridge were a part of the zone.
“Cheshire Bridge Road had 80 more crimes in 2012 than it did in 2011, but the zone as a whole had 400 more crimes,” Campos said.
Three crime reporting categories dragged down Zone 2’s total, APD figures show. In 2012, aggravated assault jumped 16 percent, burglary rose 8 percent and thefts from vehicles rose 27 percent.
All other categories showed a decline.
Crime down in the city, but not in Buckhead
The number of crimes recorded by Atlanta police fell in 2012, compared with 2011, and dropped in each of the city’s patrol zones except Zone 2, the area that includes Buckhead.
Change in the number of serious crimes in 2012 compared to 2011
Citywide: -5 percent
Zone 1: -4 percent
Zone 2: +8 percent
Zone 3: -14 percent
Zone 4: -9 percent
Zone 5: -10 percent
Zone 6: no change
Source: Atlanta police
“What killed us was the entering autos,” Hobbs told the BCN. He said a recent look at reports showed 73 percent of the people who reported thefts from their vehicles over a 30-day period did not live in the zone.
Hobbs said he is considering a public awareness campaign to caution people against leaving valuables in vehicles, something he said could be promoted statewide.
Campos said there were positives for Zone 2 as well.
“Zone 2 had no murders in 2012,” Campos said. “We’re pretty proud of that. Rape, robbery, other larceny and auto thefts were down.”