North Buckhead’s crime rates have decreased over the past several years, but this year shows an uptick in residential crime.
The North Buckhead Civic Association issued an alert in its December newsletter citing data showing residential crime has increased 90 percent over last year. According to FBI statistics, the neighborhood had 35 crimes through September 2015 while the number has jumped to 67 during the same time in 2016.
“While this might be a random fluctuation in our usual experience with crime, it is big enough to think it isn’t,” according to the newsletter. Calls and emails to members of the North Buckhead Civic Association were not returned.
FBI statistics, based on information from the Atlanta Police Department show that there were 19 residential burglaries this year compared to 13 last year. The data also shows there were 27 larcenies from vehicles reported this year, compared to just 13 last year, and 17 larcenies from non-vehicles this year compared to six last year.
APD Spokesperson Elizabeth Espy said anytime there is a rise in crime in the city, the department immediately looks into possible solutions.
“At this point, the overall crime rate is down 4 percent, however, we are higher in homicide, aggravated assault, and larceny from auto as compared to last year,” she said. “The crime rate does fluctuate throughout the year and also varies from year to year. The year-end numbers are more of a consistence reference.”
The NBCA said its compiled data is based on numbers from the residential areas that include single-family homes and low-rise condominiums inside North Buckhead, which includes about 2,400 homes and 5,800 residents.
The NBCA states it has surveyed neighborhoods “many times” to see if residents are willing to pay for security patrols or to help pay for security cameras for neighborhood streets. “So far most said no,” states the newsletter. A survey discussing crime in the area is set up online at nbca.org/2016survey.
Espy said young children are behind the “driving forces” in crime increases in North Buckhead and throughout the city.
“Our data shows that children as young as 12 years old are committing crimes and are the driving forces behind the increase in the crime numbers,” Espy said. “We know that we cannot just arrest our way out of this problem. It will take a combined effort of the entire criminal justice system, [including] judges, district attorney’s office, as well as community partners that offer mentorship and youth development programs in order to show these juveniles there are alternatives to a life of crime.”
“We always encourage citizens to reach out to us and voice their concerns and provide information about crime and criminals,” she added.
She said the Atlanta Police Foundation will be breaking ground soon on a new At Promise Youth just minutes away from the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium “which will help Atlanta youth find a new path.”
“We are excited about the opportunity and see it as our part to take crime fighting in yet another direction,” Espy said.