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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Statistics released by Grand Rapids Police show a decrease in major crime in the first six months of 2013.
Compared with the same time in 2012, major crimes dropped 12.6%. Total violent crimes, which includes murder, rape, and assault were down 16.3% and property crimes, which includes burglaries and car thefts, were down 11.7%.
However murders are up from last year; there were four homicides in the first half of 2012, compared to six so far in 2013.
Reports of rape have increased 25% since last year, but police say sexual assault reporting standards have also changed.
While serious crime may be down in Grand Rapids, it's hard to convince people of that in the southeast section of the city, where police respond the most.
"There's always going to be crime as long as there's people that want to get high," says Jay Stewart, who operates a barbershop at Eastern and Franklin.
In the nearby 1000 block of Bates SE, Isaac Brown feels that crime is up, but he says some improvements have occurred.
"I can tell you 10-15 years ago you wouldn't see people walking their dogs in the middle of the night". Now, he says, you do.