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Why police are going public with crime stats and officer complaints

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond residents will soon have an easier time tracking crime in their communities. Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham announced beginning February 1,  crime stats -- for all four city precincts -- will be made easily available online.

"Every Monday, our crime stats are going to go up [online]," Chief Durham said. "Anybody who wants to know what the crime picture looks like in Richmond, they will have access to it."

The chief said one reason the department decided to release the stats on the weekly basis was to improve transparency and decrease the time it took to respond to individual requests for the information.

Also, for those same reasons, the police will begin posting information about instances when officers had to use force during a call and when complaints were lodged against individual officers.

"We're going to put all our internal affairs citizen complaints online," Chief Durham said. "I believe in transparency. Because that transparency leads to legitimacy and trust from the people that we serve."

Violent Crime Numbers

Chief Durham announced a two percent decrease in violence crime for Richmond from 2016 to 2017. While the city's homicides and aggravated assault numbers were both up slightly year-to-year, the number of rape cases and robberies were both down.

The leading motive for Richmond's 65 homicides in 201 7 was "arguments."

"Folks just can't seem to settle disagreements without resorting to violence here in our city," the chief said. "Social media, especially with our young people, is what precipitates a lot of this violence."

He urged friends, family, and neighbors to speak up and provide information to help police stop crime.

"The level of violence that is occurring has to stop. The police can't do it alone," he said. "A lot of crimes scene we go to, people don't want to talk... We can only do, what we can do."

Anyone with information about a crime in Richmond was asked to call Richmond Police at 804-646-5100 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.