Crime study sheds light on Memphis Crime - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Crime study sheds light on Memphis Crime

Tuesday, a Memphis City Council committee voted to fund the expansion of affordable housing in Uptown. They felt it was a crucial move after a new study found a link between housing and crime in Memphis.

Jimmy Powell and his family were inside April Woods Apartments asking about affordable housing when a thief smashed their car window and stole everything.

They are opting not to move in.
"I knew it wasn't one of the best neighborhoods, but with this happening it kind of kills all chances," Powell said.

"It bothers me a lot, especially from the building. But you need to have better coordination between the police departments," Affordable Housing Developer Carle Mabry said.

That may be, but a new study reveals a bigger picture.

It found the closure of several public housing facilities moved clusters of poverty to other parts of the city.

The study prompted the Memphis City Council to form a new committee to address the roots of crime.
"We don't want to go into the business of profiling particular groups.  We need to look at it from a large perspective," councilam Edmund Ford, Jr. said.

The study found that crime moved from the inner city to Southeast Memphis and the areas just North and West of Midtown, including Uptown.

"You've got a lot of criminal activity going on there.  So it threatens the very existence of Uptown because of security.  So how do you make it safe without costing a ton of money?" housing director Robert Lipscomb said.

The study said the perfect storm for crime formed because low income families forced out of public housing were not shown how to transition back into regular housing.

Now, the council wants to get a grip.

"So that we can be on the front end of the perfect storm instead of being on the back end of the perfect storm putting sandbags down to try to save the city," councilman Harold Collins said.   

The council committee will to map out a plan to get the root causes of this crime trend. Their first meeting is in mid-August.

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