ATLANTA — This week, Mayor Andre Dickens told city council members that Atlanta is a safe city. He highlighted crime stats from this summer not usually measured to paint a picture of a city that has turned around its spike in crime.
Summertime often leads to increases in violent crime, but APD crime data shows that this summer has had some bright spots.
Last weekend, two people died in what mayor Dickens described as a mass shooting at Rosa L. Burney Park in Southwest Atlanta. Until then, he said, Atlanta appeared to be turning around its spike in crime.
"We are on our way to proving to everyone we are a safe city," Dickens told the city council's public safety committee this week.
Mayor Andre Dickens told the city council that the shooting that killed two people and injured four others at Rosa Burney Park last weekend was a tragic abnormality in a hopeful crime trend.
By the end of July, Dickens told the committee, crimes in the city’s public parks had dropped by 14% this year.
Among the other data he cited
- 20% drop in arrests of juvenile offenders.
- 14% reduction in crimes committed in city parks.
- 3% drop in crimes against persons in July, compared to the previous month.
- No violent crimes in 2022 at Lenox Square, the site of some high-profile violence in recent years.
- Sharp drops in "calls for service" in complaints about individuals peddling water alongside public streets.
"What we’re doing is working. It’s working," Dickens said, referring to anti-crime initiatives undertaken in 2022, outlined on the city's new One Safe City website.
But it’s still unclear how well. Despite the one-month drop, Dickens cited in crimes against persons, that category of crime is up 4% through July 2022, compared to the same period in 2021.
Property crimes have also risen this year by 8%, compared to the same period in 2021. Though Dickens didn’t exactly declare victory over crime – this is what he told the city council:
"My message to residents of Atlanta and visitors is clear - our city is open for business and enjoyment. You and your families are safe in Atlanta."
Dickens cited numerous events in public spaces this summer that has been free of serious crime.