INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 10, 2012, 06:37 PM

Downtown Crime rate is on the rise in Fargo

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The crime rate in Fargo has been going down for the past few years, but that trend may be changing - especially downtown. The latest numbers show double digit increases.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The crime rate in Fargo has been going down for the past few years, but that trend may be changing - especially downtown. The latest numbers show double digit increases.

Comparing July of 2011 with July of 2012, property crime has increased 62-percent in downtown Fargo, criminal mischief cases have more than doubled. But the Fargo Police Department says don't let the numbers fool you.

Lt. Joel Vettel: "We've kind of had the luxury of having reduced crime over the last several years in our community and anytime you lower the crime rate the chance of seeing a bigger increase when we do have a jump is there."

Beat 11 - downtown Fargo. It may be the smallest cop beat in the area, but it's the busiest.

Spanning Main Avenue to 6th Avenue North and the Red River to University Drive, the area has seen 248-property crimes this year...compared with just 153 at this time last year.

Lt. Joel Vettel: Anytime we have an increase in number of people, there can be an increase in number of crimes.

Still the numbers are a cause for concern. Just this week there was an assault outside of Dempsey's - those numbers are the same. 21 aggravated assaults in 2011, 21 in 2012.

But law enforcement is trying to combat the issue. Soon, security cameras will be placed around the intersection of Broadway and NP avenue.

Lt. Joel Vettel: "The numbers speak for themselves, they are effective as a deterrent."

Ultimately, most of the increases are in petty thefts and property crimes - not serious offenses. Crimes that many times can be prevented by staying alert, locking doors, and being smart.

Burglaries, drug offenses and shoplifting numbers have all seen a decrease over last year.

Tags: