Phillip Williams has lived in the Harrisburg neighborhood for almost 10 years and remembers how things were when he first moved to the area.
“If you go back 10 years, Harrisburg was basically a warzone. It was really bad. Every night, you would hear gunfire,” Williams said. “Just about every second or third corner had a prostitute on it, the drug sales were absolutely rampant to everyone that knew what it looked like, you could see it everywhere.”
Williams, who is now the president of the Harrisburg Neighborhood Association, said there are a lot of factors that have helped improve the area, including new development, but he credited the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office for helping reduce crime.
It wasn’t something that happened in a year, but over a period time, Williams said, the area stopped being a truly dangerous place.
“(Sheriff Richard Roundtree) sent crime suppression teams into the neighborhood. They just covered up the neighborhood with patrol cars and they made arrests right and left and they really put a dent in the crime,” he said. “It didn’t happen immediately, it took a while for this to get cleaned up.”
Part one crime – violent and serious crimes such as aggravated assault, auto theft, burglary, homicide, larceny from auto, rape and robbery – in Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Zone 2, which includes Harrisburg and Summerville, is still the highest across all eight coverage zones.
Since 2019, there have been 1,664 part one crimes in Zone 2, with larceny from auto, auto theft and burglaries being the most common. Although crime in zone two is the highest, it has been decreasing over the past three years with 127 fewer crimes reported in 2020 compared to 2019 and with 2021, as of Aug. 20, numbers looking like the downward trend will continue.
Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said Zone 2 has some of the most affluent areas in the county, but also some of the poorest areas compared to the other zones.
“If you look at 2021, kind of where they are trending, they are going to come down below where they were at 2020, which was a pretty good decrease,” he said. Lock your car or it will be broken into
By far, the most common part one crime in Richmond County is larceny from auto. There have been 4,029 reported cases since 2019 across all eight zones, with the next most common crime being burglary in the first degree with 1,690 incidents and auto theft with 1,449, according to data from the sheriff’s office.
Zone 3, which includes National Hills, Montclair and west Augusta, has the highest number of crimes so far in 2021 and the highest number of larceny from auto. Clayton said there are a variety of factors that have contributed to the large number of car breaks-in in Zone 3.
More: Overall crimes decrease in Richmond County as sheriff’s office takes proactive approach
He said the increase in apartment complexes, low budget hotels and the fact it is a heavily trafficked area has increased […]