Violent crime up, property crime down in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A report claims crime in Memphis is down, but some say those numbers are misleading at best.

The Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission released statistics showing property crime down significantly.

At first glance, the report looks promising. Over the past eight years, the crime commission said certain crimes are down. However, some of the numbers from 2013 to 2014 aren't as promising.

WREG spoke with Catherine Lee, a lifelong Memphian.

"I've lived in Memphis all my life, and I've been in this area since 1965," she said of South Memphis.

Lee is no stranger to crime.

"They broke into my house within three weeks several times," she said.

Lee worked hard and saved to buy herself a flat screen TV, but in one night, her effort went down the drain.

"Before I could get it mounted or anything they kicked in my back door and stole that," she said.

Lee is one of many crime victims in Memphis.

However, the new report out from the crime commission makes it seem like crime is down. The numbers focus on violent crimes and property crimes over the past eight years.

Crimes like murder and rape are down since 2006. Burglary also saw a steep decline.

However, if you look at the numbers from 2013 to 2014, it's a different story, and a far cry from the Memphis Lee used to know.

"We could leave our door open," she said. "We could sit on the porch. We didn't have to worry about it. Now, we have to lock up and double bolt."

Murders are up by more than 14 percent. Rapes are also up, with violent crime rising 4.5 percent.

Burglary and property crimes did go down, but Lee said the numbers are nothing to brag about. She wants people to take charge and improve their own communities.

"The neighborhoods need to stick together, and if they see anything wrong they need to report it," she said.

Simple assaults and drug violations also went down from 2013 to 2014.

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