Tulsa's crime rate is going up

Wednesday, October 22nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

If it seems like there is more and more crime these days, there is. Crime in Tulsa has been up nearly every month this year over last year, an average of 5%.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright looks at why that is and what it means for you and your family.

Scott, robbery victim: "Lo and behold, give me your money and all your pizzas. I just laughed cause at first I thought he was kidding."

Kathy, mugging victim: "I never dreamed about getting mugged during the day. I worried about it at night."

Waneva, murder victim’s sister: "She had been strangled. Every bone in her neck was broken and she had bite marks all over her body."

Victims of crime, we hear from them every day and it seems to be getting worse and it is. Tulsa Police stats show crime is up in nearly every category for January to August of this year when compared to last.

Homicides up from 23 to 44, rapes from 186 to 207, robberies from 607 to 609 and burglaries from 4,153 to 4,453, the question is why?

Tulsa Police Sgt Wayne Allen: "It could be a sign of the times, it could be that we've recently let people out of the penitentiary who haven't been able to commit crimes in the past few years. We still have a low unemployment rate, that's also a possibility."

These rising numbers are a double whammy because while crime is going up, the number of officers on the streets is going down. Which means citizens are going to have to fill in the gap.

Citizens must especially do a better job of protecting their property from getting stolen out of vehicles or office places. The truth is officers are playing catch up every day. "We all know we like to see officers cruising the neighborhoods but, they simply don't have time, they are too busy investigating crimes that have already happened."

Without being too bleak, officers admit that the situation may get worse, before it gets better. The good news is Tulsa's crime rate is still about average with other cities our size.

And, the police department has been given permission to hire new rookie officers after the first of the year; of course, it takes nearly a year to fully train them.