Murder up 42% in Providence, overall crime down 4% - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Murder up 42% in Providence, overall crime down 4%

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Dee DeQuattro

The city of Providence is reporting a 4% drop in crime for 2012, however, the statistics reveal that murder in the state's capital city is up 42%.

In 2012 there were 17 murders compared to 2011's 12 murders. On Wednesday evening 20-year-old Wesley Smith was shot and killed in the city. The murder marks the city's first murder in five months.

"It's tough to talk statistics when we had a 20-year-old killed last night," noted Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare at a Thursday morning press conference to release the city's 2012 crime numbers.

Other crime categories also experienced a slight increase including sexual offenses up 8 percent, aggravated assaults up five percent, and motor vehicle thefts up 5%

On the other hand robberies were down 10%. Burglaries were down 16% and Larceny down by 2%.

In total they were 9,676 crimes reported in the city in 2011 and 9,258 were reported in 2012 an overall drop of 4%. The number of arrests also increased in 2012 with police arresting 7,187 people compared to 2011's 6.726 arrests, a 7% change.

Mayor Angel Taveras focused on the city's struggle with illegal firearms noting that 130 illegal guns were confiscated 130 in 2012. He said he would like to see "common sense" gun reform and "uniform background checks." He also announced the city will host a gun buyback program on April 6.

Taveras said that the city would host a police academy soon to get more officers on the streets.

(c) 2013 WLNE-TV

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