GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - A recently released crime analysis report shows crime in Greenville is actually lower than similar cities in the state.
Police Chief Hassan Aden stated in a news conference on Tuesday morning that crime in Greenville is lower than people may think. The report compares crime in Greenville and similar cities in the state in 2011 and 2012.
David Whichard, a native of Greenvile who recently moved back from Baltimore, believes crime is a problem in Greenville.
"Since I got back here, it has changed drastically. [Crime has] never been this severe," David Whichard said.
Whichard said he doesn't understand why things have gotten so bad.
"It's like a small city in distress. Uh, home invasions, robberies, rapes. The whole thing has gone crazy," Whichard said.
However, Chief Aden said the city isn't as dangerous as people may think. In fact, new data comparing its crime rate to other cities in the state shows Greenville had the 4th lowest amount of violent crimes in 2012.
One chart shows 50 people out of 1000 were affected by crime in Greenville. That's better than Rocky Mount with an average of 72 people per 1000.
Chief Aden said Greenville has a bad reputation for the wrong reasons.
"We are transparent so we put all that information out there. And it is grabbed and put in the paper and put on television. So, there's nothing wrong with that but a certain segment of the public begins to think 'Oh my God, this is not a safe place to live.' But this kind of statistical data that I've provided today shows it is a safe place to live," Aden said.
Despite the results, Aden still believes crime is an issue in Greenville and he and his team are working as hard as they can to curb it.
"I think I said it to you Amanda during my second day in, I want Greenville, North Carolina to be one of the safest cities in the United States and that's exactly the target we're shooting for," Aden said.
Aden said it's not the violent crimes like robberies and murders that drive up the city's crime rate. It's actually auto thefts.
The Greenville Police Department recently rolled out its strategic plan to curb crime in the city during the next two years. Some of the plans include stepping up security at fast-food restaurants and convenience stores and also having a patrol unit which will tackle gang activity.
To view the PowerPoint report of Greenville crime numbers and how they compare to other cities, CLICK HERE.