Crime on the rise across Shelby County; residents want change

Crime on the rise across Shelby County; residents want change

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - According to a newly-released study done by Memphis and Shelby County Crime Commission, crime is on the rise in both the city and the county.

The reported major crime rate for January-February 2016 was up 24.5 percent countywide and up 22 percent in the city of Memphis, compared to this time last year.

We gave you specifics on the increased crime numbers in Memphis on Tuesday, now we're learning more about the crime in Shelby County.

According to the report, there has been a 47 percent increase in murders in Shelby County compared to this time last year. However, major property crime rates are continuing to decline across the county.

Residents in the county say crime happens everywhere.

"I've been out here now for about 14 years, and it's just getting worse," Mary Flag said.

Flag lives in Northhaven, an area the county mayor said is known for crime.

"Very sick of it," said Flag. "We hear gunshots in this area frequently."

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said he's not blind to what is happening.

"We've always had crime as a problem," said Luttrell.

He said he is actively working with Operation Safe Community and other organizations to address the issues of poverty and eduction in the county, which he said all trickles back to increased crime.

"Education goes a long way to the issue of addressing crime," Luttrell said.

But he agrees it may be time to return to the drawing board.

Last month, Luttrell announced his run for congress. However, he said his congressional campaign is not impacting his efforts to reduce crime in the county.

"I'm still 24/7 the mayor of Shelby County and I'll devote 24/7 to that," Luttrell said.

Residents of the area said they're just ready for a change.

"It's really a shame," Flag said.

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