Asheville police: Violent crime up across city, property crime down in 2022 (2024)

ASHEVILLE - Police say that violent crime rose in Asheville in 2022, with a 17.4% increase from the year before that was driven largely by aggravated assaults.

A repeated point from Chief David Zack during the city's March 28 Environment and Safety Committee meeting: presence matters.

He pointed to targeted operations and patrols over the last few months. Though some of those operations focused on “nuisance crime,” they coincided with a drop in aggravated assaults, he said.

“Our presence does matter,” said Zack, whose force has hovered around 40% understaffed for at least the last year. “When we look back where we had the window break-ins downtown — again, the targeted operations that we had down there — we saw a dramatic reduction in aggravated assaults.”

Earlier this year APD conducted a targeted operation to arrest people who were breaking into local businesses, Zack said.

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Asheville police: Violent crime up across city, property crime down in 2022 (1)

"As of March 28, APD currently has 144 out of 238 sworn officers available on a daily basis, 40% of sworn staff is unavailable at this time," APD spokesperson Samantha Booth said in an email. The number was still current March 29, she said.

Asked how many sworn officers had been hired since an ad campaign with EPIC Recruiting started, and how many were referred to the department by the ad campaign, she said the following: "I referred your inquiry to Captain Moore (Training & Recruiting Division), who spoke yesterday on the slides regarding YTD EPIC analytics, he suggested looking at slides 17 and 18 of the Environmental Safety presentation for the answers to your questions. Both slides show what analytics are currently being tracked by EPIC. The sole function of EPIC's website and ad campaigns is to attract potential candidates by aiming those candidates to the City of Asheville employment website, in hopes that they then apply."

The company’s campaign has drawn thousands of sets of eyes, according to data presented by APD Capt. Brandon Moore at the meeting.

Zack has previously said that the ad campaign is a good resource for drawing the attention of would-be police, but has cited other factors that could help in recruiting, such as increased pay.

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Crime at a glance

  • In 2022 property crime was down from the prior year, according to the department’s data.Police reported 4,672 property crime incidents in 2022 compared to 4,912 the year before — making for a 4.9% decrease. The FBI defines property crime as burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson. “What we are seeing (from) 2019 to 2022 is a significant decrease in property crime, so that is definitely some good news,” Zack said.

  • Violent crime trended at historically high levels both in the city and nationally in 2022, Zack said. There was a 17.4% increase from 2021 to 2022, according to his data. The number has steadily climbed, with some aberrations, since 2013. In spite of understaffing, the department has been “aggressively deploying resources,” especially to address violent crime, he said.

  • Aggravated assaults have driven the rise in violent crime, rising steadily over the last decade, and more dramatically from 2021 to 2022. There were 525 aggravated assault incidents last year compared to 431 in 2021, or a 21.8% increase.

  • There were 11 reported homicides in the city last year compared to 10 in 2021. There’s not been a significant increase or decrease since 2016, Zack said. The highest number of homicides since then came in 2018, when there were 12 in the city.

  • The department beat the national average for clearance in homicide cases. Asheville police solved 63% of homicides in 2022, Zack said. The national clearance rate is about 50%.

  • The number of shots fired calls has declined for the last two years, but there was an increase in gunshot victims in 2022. It rose from 31 in 2021 to 36.

  • The number of rapes has been declining since 2019. There were 54 in 2021 and 47 in 2022.

  • After a slight dip in 2021, robberies went up last year, returning to numbers more familiar. There were 133 last year. There was a 20% increase in armed robberies from 2021 to 2022.

The data used in the presentation and cited above was based on the “total number of individual incidents,” Booth said.

Committee gets update onpilot program

Asheville Fire Department Assistant Chief Patrick Crudup gave the committee an update on a city pilot program that would study and address homelessness and substance use issues in Asheville.

Though its scope and purpose are still being shaped, the program looks similar to Buncombe County’s team of community paramedics.

According to Crudup's presentation, the program will see city employees support “local businesses and residential areas by proactively addressing concerns and quality of life issues before they escalate,” and coordinate “with Buncombe County to respond to needs within the city.”

So far 18 members of AFD have volunteered for the program, Crudup said.

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The next steps will be to select AFD members to staff the pilot, finalize an initial plan, practice crisis intervention training with the county and launch the pilot, according to the presentation.

City Manager Debra Campbell described the program as a proactive "outreach initiative" with "boots on the ground" at the meeting.

She gave the example of intervening when someone is found sleeping in a doorway — for their sake, the business's sake and any customers' sake, she said.

"When we grow up, this is essentially the service that we want to provide," she said.

Learn more:

The Environment and Safety Committee typically meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 11 a.m. Meetings are livestreamed and open to the public. Recordings and documents are posted to the city's website.

Ryan Oehrli covers public safety, breaking news, courts and other beats for the Citizen Times. Comments? Questions? Tips? Send them to or 252-944-6816. Please support local, daily journalism with asubscriptionto the Citizen Times.

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Asheville police: violent crime up, property crime down in 2022

Asheville police: Violent crime up across city, property crime down in 2022 (2024)


Asheville police: Violent crime up across city, property crime down in 2022? ›

Asheville police: Violent crime up across city, property crime down in 2022. ASHEVILLE - Police say that violent crime rose in Asheville in 2022, with a 17.4% increase from the year before that was driven largely by aggravated assaults.

How many homicides in Asheville, NC in 2022? ›

Violent crime and property crime, homicides, robberies and rape reports are just some of the categories with significant drop-offs from the 2022 numbers -- nine homicides, 129 robberies and 40 rape reports, among others. That's compared to 12 homicides, 134 robberies and 52 rape reports in 2022.

Where does Asheville, NC rank in crime? ›

With a crime rate of 61 per one thousand residents, Asheville has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 16.

Which crime is most likely to be reported to police? ›

Among violent crimes – excluding homicide, which BJS doesn't track – robbery was the most likely to be reported to law enforcement in 2022 (64.0%). It was followed by aggravated assault (49.9%), simple assault (36.8%) and rape/sexual assault (21.4%).

Has crime increased in North Carolina? ›

The rate per 100,000 people of Crime Index offenses reported to law enforcement agencies throughout North Carolina decreased 1.4 percent during 2022 when compared to the figures reported in 2021. The rate of violent crime (which includes murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) decreased 3.9 percent statewide.

What city in NC has the highest violent crime rate? ›

Statistics About The Most Dangerous Cities In North Carolina
  • As of 2021, Lumberton is the most dangerous city in North Carolina with a violent crime rate of 16.54 per 1,000 residents.
  • Albemarle holds the second spot for the most dangerous city in North Carolina with a violent crime rate of 13.94 per 1,000 residents.
Feb 7, 2024

Does Asheville, North Carolina have a crime problem? ›

Crime Index

Asheville has a higher crime rate than similarly sized metro areas.

Is crime increasing in Asheville? ›

According to the latest data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the crime rate in Asheville, NC is 4,619 per 100,000 people. This is higher than the national average of 3,965 per 100,000 people. The crime rate in Asheville has been increasing in recent years.

Is Asheville, NC top 10% crime? ›

Asheville currently ranks in the top 10% in violent crime per capita among all American cities.

What is the problem with downtown Asheville? ›

Downtown Asheville, like many cities in America, has long contended with homelessness, panhandling, drugs and common crimes like shoplifting.

How many cops go to jail each year? ›

Now there is an answer: Police officers are arrested about 1,100 times a year, or roughly three officers charged every day, according to a new national study. The most common crimes were simple assault, drunken driving and aggravated assault, and significant numbers of sex crimes were also found.

Who is more likely to commit crime? ›

Males commit more crime overall and more violent crime than females. They commit more property crime except shoplifting, which is about equally distributed between the genders. Males appear to be more likely to reoffend.

What is the most crime unreported? ›

According to the American Medical Association (1995), sexual violence, and rape in particular, is considered the most under-reported violent crime. Common reasons for individuals not reporting crime include fear of not being believed, insecurity, and fear of getting into trouble.

What city in NC has the lowest crime rate? ›

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in North Carolina for 2024
  • Pinehurst.
  • Whispering Pines.
  • Davidson.
  • Waxhaw.
  • Elon.
  • Rolesville.
  • Fuquay-Varina.
  • Winterville.

What are the biggest risk of living in North Carolina? ›

All parts of North Carolina have been hit by tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, lightning strikes, snow and ice storms. These natural disasters can cause power outages, property damage and disruption to food and water supplies. Dangerous materials events also may cause you problems.

What state has the lowest crime rate? ›

Maine had the lowest violent crime rate, and Idaho held the lowest property crime rate. The US crime rate has trended downward for decades, and recent data confirms this pattern. However, while the national violent crime rate decreased by 1.6% in 2022 compared to 2021, the property crime rate rose by 6.7%.

How many murders in North Carolina in 2022? ›

North Carolina murders by relationship

Data provided in the report also details the reported relationships between homicide victims and suspects, showing that of the 1,320 homicides in 2021 and 1,180 homicides in 2022, only 79 and 67 respectively were confirmed to be committed by someone that the victim did not know.

What is the crime rate in Asheville NC compared to the national average? ›

The 2019 violent crime rate in Asheville was 642.4 per 100,000 people. In 2018, Asheville registered 30 reported rapes. Asheville documented 3,033 property crimes in 2019. Asheville's crime rate was 182% higher than the national average in 2019.

Who were the two people killed in Asheville NC? ›

On Sunday, April 7, Myers Park High School confirmed that Sophie Gordon, 16, a junior at the school, passed away following the crash in Asheville Saturday night. Highway Patrol confirmed rear passenger Robert Fox, 19, of Wilmette, Illinois, also died in the weekend accident.

What are the leading causes of death in North Carolina? ›

Cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic lung disease and unintentional injuries make up the leading causes of death in NC.


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