A look at Burlington, NC crime
In Burlington, NC the crime rate is 68 percent higher than the North Carolina state average and 88 percent higher than the national average. In fact, Burlington has a violent crime rate that is 105 percent higher than the North Carolina average and 91 percent higher than the national average.
City crime rates have extreme effects on the nation in many aspects of society. Not only is Burlington itself negatively affected by these statistics, but the surrounding communities, such as Elon, are forced to endure some of the ramifications as well.
According to “The Impact of Crime on Communities,” a journal article written by Ralph B. Taylor and published in the American Academy of Political and Social Science, crime relates to low or decreasing house values, declined neighborhood satisfaction, increased fear, a weaker sense of attachment to the community and a desire to move.
Crime rates also determine the vibrancy and health of a city. Those outside the neighborhood may be less likely to move into a neighborhood or buy a house or business there due to concerns about crime. Therefore, the city’s economy struggles, which in turn affects educational opportunities and cultural opportunities for residents.
If a city or town has a particularly high crime rate, like Burlington does, the behavioral consequences for residents include limiting their rounds of activities, avoiding certain places and participating less in local affairs. The fact that increased crime rates help diminish a sense of community creates a cycle of crime and fear that is hard to break. According to RAIDS Online, a public crime map, in Burlington specifically, the most common crimes over the past year have been theft, assault and residential burglary. Some of these crimes can be attributed to Burlington’s gang activity, which is seen by local authorities as one of Burlington’s biggest problems relating to crime. Here is an interactive map created by using ThingLink. The map of crimes is used from RAIDS Online and Google Maps. The added black dots that can be seen when the image is scrolled over show the percentages of different crimes over the past three months. According to The North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s 2015 Juvenile Crime Prevention Council Report, Alamance County, where Burlington is located, is home to 1,128 youths who have either already been through the juvenile justice system or are at risk to do so. That number is the third highest number out of all North Carolina counties.
Crime activates a harmful cycle in a community that can lead to deterioration. It affects families, business and the general quality of life in a city. This project aims to dig deeper into the specific effects that crime has on the Burlington community as well as its surrounding communities. We investigate different facets of crime and prevention and pose the question: Why are crime rates in Burlington so high, and what factors are playing a part in those numbers?
-Summary by Kathleen Harper