LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It's an alert for everyone, a new study shows violent crime is on the rise nationwide.
As we first showed you on WKYT at 5 p.m. government numbers show violent crimes rose by 18% last year. It's the first year-to-year increase in 18 years. Property crimes were also up. So we wanted to know, is this also the case in Lexington? Are we bucking the trend and keeping families better protected?
The numbers are in and crime is up. Analysts at the Bureau of Justice Statistics say violent crimes spiked in 2011, the first increase in almost two decades. Property crimes are up too - more than 10% from 2010.
"It's pretty significant if you even have a 2% jump in violent crime. The people who fight crime, the police departments, get very concerned if they see a one or two percent increase. That's a big deal," explained WKYT's Officer Don Evans.
Analysts tell us to put national trends in perspective. They say we're still nowhere near the number of violent crimes we saw in the early 1990's.
"Locally, violent crime seems to be trending up, but property crime is way up. That's a fact that the community is feeling. It's more so property crime here locally than it is violent crime. A lot of experts believe that this could be related to the fact that they're letting more people out of prison and they tend to do that with what they call non-violent offenders," said Officer Evans.
Officer Evans says not to expect crime to jump as drastically in our area as it has across the nation. He says officers are keeping a close eye on the trend.
"You can bet that they'll be looking at it and developing strategies to try to deal with it before it gets here, to stay ahead of the game."
More closely monitored crime numbers are expected to be released later this month.