Violent crimes in Wilmington is at its lowest in decades, traffic fatalities continue to increase
On Tuesday, Wilmington Police Department Chief Donny Williams presented the 2021 Crime Statistics to Wilmington City Council. Violent crimes are down but other areas are seeing an increase.
Violent crimes like homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults have decreased by 17%, the lowest level the city has seen in the last 12 years. Officers responded to 159,000 calls in 2021.
Wilmington Housing Authority communities saw an overall 38% decrease in crime — violent crimes were down 43%, property crimes down 33%. A partnership with the housing authority, WPD, and the sheriff’s department working with residents has helped keep the crime levels low, according to Chief Williams.
There has been an unfortunate increase in traffic injuries and deaths, In 2021, 22 people were killed in crashes with the highest number being pedestrians. In 16 of the 22 crashes at least one person was suspected of alcohol or drug intoxication. Speed was a factor in six of the incidents.
Chief Donny Williams says he doesn’t want violent crime to overshadow the importance of preventing these deaths.
“It was important to me because there was such a focus on the homicides and the shooting, you have innocent people that were being killed frequently in these traffic crashes," he said.
The Wilmington Police Department launched a PSA campaign to educate the community on traffic violations. The goal is to launch a new campaign each month.