New campaign targeting gun violence in Savannah

New campaign targeting gun violence in Savannah

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - 2019 numbers show gun violence is up in Savannah.

Now police are partnering with the non-profit CrimeStoppers to come up with a way to get the community more involved in helping them put a stop to it.

Savannah Police command staff, city leaders and CrimeStoppers all met Tuesday at Savannah Police Headquarters to talk about a new initiative that they say will specifically target gun violence using tips.

According to police stats, gun violence was up in 2019 from previous years by more than 60 cases. Chief Minter said in the meeting that 109 people were sent to the hospital last year alone with non-fatal gunshot wounds in Savannah.

The message at the meeting was, in part, ‘enough is enough’.

Here’s a look at some of the new graphics revealed Tuesday.

Savannah Police and CrimeStoppers are looking to launch this new campaign they say will be more relatable for those in the community who might know who’s responsible for acts of gun violence in their neighborhoods.

CrimeStoppers leaders say their goal is to empower the community, adding they want the public’s input, and need it to make this initiative work. And for that information that helps police crack gun violence cases, the anonymous tipster will be rewarded.

“There’s a saying in several communities that snitches get stitches and end up in ditches," said Chief Roy Minter. "Well, we’re here to say now is with CrimeStoppers new program, snitches can get riches. And we want people to know in our community that you can get paid for communicating crime information to us. And we’re especially looking for individuals who are willing to communicate gun-related crime information to us.”

Police and CrimeStoppers also pointed out that following a recent news conference on a cold case that tips started rolling in.

And CrimeStoppers Director, Larry Branson, says it was anonymous tips through CrimesStoppers that helped police catch a suspect wanted in a shooting in Berwick.

The number of gun-related crimes in Savannah are on the rise.Specifically, aggravated assaults with a gun.

In 2019, Savannah Police received 326 reports of aggravated assaults with a gun. That's a 21 percent increase from the previous year.Aggravated assaults with a gun include reports that someone was shot by someone else or suffered some type of injury involving a gun.

Also on the rise from the last year - robberies. According to Savannah Police's CommStat reports - there were 292 robberies in 2019. That's about an 11 percent increase from the year before. And it includes residential, commercial and street robberies.

Violent crimes in 2019 were reported all over the city. In particular, there was a larger cluster of violent crimes reported north of Victory Drive between Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and Abercorn Street, but south of Henry Street.The community crime map for 2019 in Savannah also includes reports of murder, robbery and aggravated assault.

Not all violent crimes involve guns. But the initiative city leaders announced today will specifcially target Savannah's gun violence.

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