MEMPHIS, Tenn — Memphis crime mapping data shows that violent crime has hit nearly every community in the city. However, Frayser, North, and South Memphis communities appear to be the hardest hit.
As of December 6, 2021, Memphis Police reported 310 homicides. In addition to murder, almost 5,000 aggravated assault cases were reported in the city this year and mapping data also shows that it happened all over the city.
Someone shot and killed two teenage girls at a gas station this past weekend. Monday morning, someone shot and killed two people in the Messick Buntyn neighborhood.
It has been almost three weeks since Young Dolph was killed. With so many killings, people want to know what is behind the spike in crime.
Head of the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission Bill Gibbons said that gang activity is a significant contributor to our crime problem. But, he added, the pandemic has also impacted crime. Another factor, according to Gibbons, is that social unrest has affected law enforcement's proactive activities.
"Law enforcement has the same reactions as everybody else and probably have been a little more reluctant to interact with people as a result of the unrest," said Gibbons.
While murder and aggravated assault is up, Gibbons said robberies and property crimes are down.
Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said whatever the cause, her office is committed to holding those who commit crimes accountable.
"As difficult as it is to articulate one that is causing it or three things that are causing it, the same can be said of what is it going to take to fix it. It is not one program that this office starts or one program the police start that will fix it. It is really going to take the community," said Weirich.
The high number of aggravated assaults is a genuine concern because the suspect and victim often know each other, said Gibbons.
"We do have to take it seriously because all it takes is someone to be a good aim, and an aggravated assault can become murder in a split second," said Gibbons.