NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – According to the latest data from Metro Police the majority of crime is down, compared to last year. However, some crimes have spiked in the downtown area.
Compstat reports from the Central Precinct show that burglaries are up by over a hundred percent from this time last year, violent crime is up by over 30 percent.
“Just feeling actually safe, is the largest problem.” said Meredith Yerk, a bartender who works downtown.
On Thursday, Yerk and other downtown employees and business owners gathered for the montly Merchants Assocation meeting. Metro police were at the meeting to discuss possible solutions for the crime increase.
In the last week, there’s been two notable violent crimes that News 2 has reported on.
According to an arrest affidavit, on June 21 at the intersection of Fifth Avenue North and Union Streeton a panhandler spat on a woman then pushed her into moving traffic.
The next day, near Second Avenue North, officers say a homeless man was severely beaten by a group of men, and later died.
“I feel like the most important thing is that we be preventative instead of reactive.” said Yerk
“I think we’re experiencing low numbers of police officers to provide adequate safety for the entire downtown district. You know on some nights we’ve only got eight to ten officers to cover a huge area. You know I think that puts our officers in jeopardy.” said Barrett Hobbs, Chairman of the Downtown Merchants Association.
The solution isn’t simple, but Metro police have said they’re working to add more officers to the force.
Assistan District Attorney, Tammy Meade was at Thursdya’s meeting. She added that prosecution is vital,
“Report it to the police [downtown crime], even if you’re assaulted but you’re not injured and you think it’s going to take a lot of time. Without following through on these cases, there’s nothing we can do.”