Violent crimes, shootings on the rise in Indy’s focus areas

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (Dec. 3 2015) – Violent crime is on the rise in several parts of Indianapolis. New numbers show homicides and non-fatal shootings have increased in the city’s six crime hot spots.

For every shooting and murder that takes place inside one of Indianapolis’ six focus areas, three other acts of violence occur outside those boundaries.

“You know when people think of those six areas, they think most of the violence is occurring there and it’s not true, it has spread all over the city,” said Rev. Charles Harrison.

Still, last October when the city announced the creation of the six hot spots, the goal was to cut down on crime in the most troubled neighborhoods.

“Remember in these areas we have 4.7 percent of our population residing there, but 30 percent of homicides occurred in these areas so it makes sense to be in these areas,” said former public safety director Troy Riggs.

As public safety director at the time, Riggs helped establish the focus areas seen on this map.

The numbers show last year 24 percent of the city’s homicides took place in the six hot spots.

This year that number has gone up to 28 percent.

In 2014, 23 percent of non-fatal shootings occurred in the six focus areas.

That number has risen to 28 percent this year.

Police and public safety experts say it’s too early to know if the hot spot strategy has been effective.

They're not planning to change course just yet.

“The fact crime happened outside the numbered zone doesn’t matter so much as where the people come from, where are the headquarters for the illegal activity?” said IMPD policed chief Rick Hite.

Chief Hite also believes focusing on the hot spots has been effective, because many crimes that occur outside those areas are still traced back to the focus neighborhoods.

“The strategy needs to be how do we build police partnerships all over the city,” said Harrison.

“I do think it’s an effective strategy, but it has to be long term,” said Riggs. “We need to find out what works and replicate that throughout the community.”

There have been more than 400 non-fatal shootings in the city this year. That is way above last year at the same time when the city had 333 similar crimes. So far this year we've seen 137 murders-- two more than all of last year.

The increase has been seen inside and outside the focus areas.



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