Crime reports high in area surrounding some public parks

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Danger is looming near places that are supposed to be safe, like the local park in your neighborhood.

We looked at two recent months of reported crimes within a mile of each park in Memphis and Morris Park topped the list.

Morris Park at Poplar and Manassas is just a few blocks from the county’s criminal justice center. Reports show there were 497 crimes in the area from February through March.

Ricky ‘P’ visits the park often. He didn’t take the news well.

“Man, we be sitting up here every day. We don’t have no crime up here.”

But the numbers don’t life, and Morris Park’s rap sheet is long. Crimes within a mile of the park include 72 assaults, 21 aggravated assaults, six robberies, 31 car break-ins, 29 sex offender violations and a kidnapping.

But Ricky says he’s still in disbelief.

“We leave every day at 6 p.m. It figures any problems happen at night.”

Other dangerous parks include Whitehaven Lane near Southland Mall. There were 464 reported crimes in the area from February through March. That includes one murder, 83 assaults, 20 aggravated assaults, 14 robberies and 18 car break-ins.

Regina Morgan lives around the corner and says the area has problems, but she didn’t think it was this bad.

“It been some break-ins, you know, in this neighborhood. But I didn’t think the crime was like that.”

The park is currently under renovation and will open again soon.

Morgan plans on taking her 9-year-old granddaughter. But she says she’ll come during the day.

Based on the numbers the safest place in Memphis is Shelby Farms Park. Only 12 crimes were reported from February through March in the area.

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