Greensboro police reducing violent crime with ‘Hot Spot’ technique

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro police officers are using community policing techniques to combat and reduce violent crimes in the city. Hot Spot special assignments for patrol officers began in March of this year and is an ongoing venture.

Deputy Police Chief James Hinson said that the extra patrol and presence in certain neighborhoods is based on statistical data based on victimization crimes.

“More crime in that particular area, more activity, also we look at the number of calls in that particular area, calls for service but complaints as well,” Hinson said.

District one’s hot spot is along Spring Garden Street and West Market Street, district two is Sebastian Village, the MLK corridor and Smith Homes community, district three covers the Overland Heights community and district four includes the Phillips Avenue, Claremont Homes area.

While those may be the areas of focus for a particular time, Hinson explained that crime rates change based on where resources are placed and ultimately the goal is to improve crime prevention citywide.

“Crime doesn’t end and crime doesn’t stop, it’s going to be at this location this week and it can be at another location this week. And what we have to do is make sure that we continue to watch those patterns and place those officers where they need to be,” Hinson said.

Based on data collected from March 31 to July 31, overall violent crime decreased by 6 percent; 110 violent incidents in 2017 compared to 117 in 2016.

“Of course, when you report what’s going on then you’re going to have a slight uptick in crime because now people are coming forward with that information,” Hinson said.

Hinson added community interaction plays a lot into that statistic. Rather than just having officers patrolling in vehicles, the assignment encourages officers walking door to door, getting to know the community’s concerns.