Neighborhood-Ranking Report Raises Questions In North Charlotte

From www.wsoctv.com via www.ten8.wordpress.com

October 5, 2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Krystal Felton has been a hair stylist along North Tryon Street for three years and said she has never worried about crime.

 “I don’t feel any less safe here than I do on the south side of town,” she said, adding that she regularly closes up shop alone late at night.

 But a new report from neighborhoodscout.com says maybe she should feel less safe in the area. It labeled the neighborhood — identified as the area of north Charlotte between West 12th Street, North Tryon Street, North Graham Street and Atando Avenue — as the 11th most dangerous neighborhood in the country.

The website says it used FBI statistics to come up with the findings that people in the area have a 1 in 9 chance of being the victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 6 chance of being the victim of a property crime in one year.

 Residents admit that there’s crime, but said there’s nowhere near that much.

 “I live in this neighborhood and I shop at this store,” said Denise Greene, referring to Wayne’s Super Market at the corner of North Graham and West 24th streets. “It’s not as bad as they’re making it sound.”

 “I think it’s a better neighborhood than what they’re saying,” agreed Sidney Drakeford, who’s lived nearby since the early 1980s.

 Authorities also indicated they had doubts about the website’s report. The FBI told Channel 9 it couldn’t confirm the legitimacy of the website’s numbers. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police couldn’t readily provide crime statistics for the neighborhood in question, but a spokesperson said the department saw a citywide decrease in crime in 2009 from the previous year. Property crime was down more than 18 percent, violent crime was down more than 20 percent and homicides were down more than 32 percent, police said.

 When Eyewitness News looked at crime mapping for the neighborhood, it turned up fewer than 100 violent crimes in 2009 — a fraction of the 352 the website claims.

 Linda Holden with North End Partners, a community group trying to revitalize the neighborhood, said the report could possibly take away years of positive work.

 “How do we fight this?” she said. “We are going to have to figure out why this happened, how it happened, and how to get the image to be corrected.”

 City Council member Patsy Kinsey called the report “absolutely nuts.”

 “I know that area quite well, and it’s not so,” she said, adding that she often walks the streets to talk with constituents in that area. “Those are great neighborhoods.”

 A disclaimer on the website advises people that the site’s parent company, Location Inc., cannot guarantee that the site, any of its sister sites “or any of the information they contain is complete, accurate or error-free.” No one from the site returned Channel 9′s requests for comment on Tuesday.

 

Published in: on October 6, 2010 at 5:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

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