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Violent crime in Little Rock sees 17% increase compared to 2021

The mayor and police department are trying to get ahead of the violence by using data to pinpoint areas most vulnerable to crime.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Violent crime in Little Rock is up from this time last year. 

It has actually risen 17%, which is grim considering Little Rock saw it's second-highest year of murders in 2021.

Now, the first months of 2022 are already looking worse.

The mayor and the city's police department are trying to get ahead of the crime though. It's also an effort that community members are working towards as well. One of those members is Cash, a Little Rock resident that knows all too well about the city's violence problem.

Cash said many of the shootings in the city are about typically about retaliation.

"A lot of these shootings are just basically wrong place, wrong time," said Cash. "You're with someone that has done something to somebody else, so therefore how people think, if I can't get to you I know if I shoot this person that will hurt you more."

The effort to curb the shootings is a collective one. In Wednesday's public safety update, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. and LRPD talked about the violent acts.

"We are working to save a generation, to prevent the crime before it even starts," said Mayor Scott.

The numbers compared to last year are raising concern. Incidents of battery where someone is shot or injured with a deadly weapon have gone up by 21% from this time last year.

Terroristic acts, where someone shoots into a vehicle or house have gone up 38%. 

In an attempt to get ahead of the rising numbers, LRPD is using data that indicates where the highest crime rates are in the city. They then assign more officers to those areas. 

"The purpose of this is high visibility. The officers are not there to go into any type of zero tolerance. It is high visibility to let the citizens in the area know that we are there," said LRPD Assistant Chief Wayne Bewley.

Efforts like this are ones that Cash believes that could help the city.

"Police officers that live close to that community should patrol that community to build a better relationship with people and it will help with the crime," said Cash.

Little Rock has had 13 homicides so far this year. That's a 44% increase from this time last year. LRPD has closed all but three of those cases.

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