On crime stats for Union Hill and Church Hill North

06/26/2009 6:20 AM by

In response to Church Hill being named the “10th Most Dangerous Neighborhood in America”, Matt Conrad of the Union Hill Civic Association had data provided by Lt. Laino of Sector 111 that brings some perspective to the designation (PDF). The data makes very clear what residents of the Union Hill and Church Hill North already know: crime is not only down from a few years ago, but is dramatically down from 6 and 7 years ago.

There were 205 violent or property crimes in Union Hill in 2003, last year there were but 75. Church Hill North saw 330 violent or property crimes in 2002, but only 117 in 2008. Somewhere in the middle of this historic decline, an area comprised of part of each of these neighborhoods was theoretically so bad statistically that it qualified as one of the most dangerous in the county.

In an email sharing Laino’s data with Union Hill residents, though, Conrad points out that “WalletPop predicted 169 violent crimes in the area they selected over the next year. In reality, there were only 27 violent crimes in the entirety of Union Hill and Church Hill North during the last full year” of data.

“Church Hill” (WalletPop)

The original article draws data from an area that encompasses part of Church Hill North and part of Union Hill, an region that corrolates to census tract 207. Note that the area of comparison for the source article does not include the western half of what the city considers to be Union Hill, nor the northern third of Church Hill North between S Street and Nine Mile Road.

Picture 6

Union Hill and Church Hill North (Richmond City)

The WalletPop article makes comparisons “based on the aggregate crime data for the municipality containing that neighborhood averaged across the most recent three years of non-preliminary (final) data available from the FBI (2005, 2006, and 2007).” The data provided by Lt. Laino shows incident counts for Union Hill and Church Hill North for the years 2002-present. This data is also available online to citizens at the RPD website.

Picture 8

Glancing at the data, the 7 Union Hill homicides in 2005-2006 really stand out. Prior to this spring’s shocking and isolated incident, it had been almost 3 years since the last homicide in Union Hill, and at the time most folks would’ve been hard-pressed to remember the last serious incident in the neighborhood.

A listing of the 7 incidents brings back to light the regular violence around the ragged edges of Union Hill in those years. The 4 bolded incidents occurred in the area looked at for the WalletPop article.

  1. May 23, 2005 – Shooting at P and 20th Streets (the incident comes up online under Union Hill, but is actually a Fairmount address (PDF))
  2. July 14, 2005 – Murder at the Church Hill House on Burton
  3. October 6, 2005 – Domestic stabbing on 500 block of Mosby Street
  4. December 10, 2005 – Shooting at Jefferson Townhomes
  5. March 11, 2006 – Shooting at Jessamine and Burton
  6. April 26, 2006 – Stabbing at Church Hill House on Burton
  7. June 29, 2006 – Domestic shooting on 25th Street

For comparison, over the same 2 year span (2005 & 2006), Fairmount, Whitcomb, and Fairfield each had 4 homicides, Mosby shows 6 homicides, and Creighton is listed as also having had 7 homicides.

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