By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
Overall crime in Birmingham Housing Authority communities has declined nearly 20 percent from this time last year, according to housing officials.
The 19.5 percent drop in overall crime is in part because of collaborative efforts among Birmingham Police Department (BPD), Housing Authority of Birmingham District (HABD) staff and residents, say officials.
“Any drop in crime is good but 19.5 percent is very significant because it shows that positive things are happening,” said Ken Foreman, Public Safety Director, HABD.
The data comes from the Birmingham Police Department, which has a Community Safety Partnership (CSP) program in place with HABD. Of the 14 HABD housing communities, Elyton Village in West Birmingham, has seen the largest drop in overall crime with a 55 percent decrease.
“To manifest our vision of zero crime, we have and will be implementing numerous tactics, programs, and outreach efforts,” said Foreman.
He plans to review HABD’s Firearm Policy, as well as create opportunities to better educate residents about responsible gun ownership and conflict resolution, he said. In addition, BPD’s CSP officers will continue to conduct “street sweeps” in communities where higher incidents of crime are reported.
“My message to the residents and families is that we are concerned about what you are concerned about,” said Foreman. “We hear you; we are there for you, and we are working to solve the crime problem. However, the police cannot complete this mission alone, we need your help as we are all in this together.
“We know that our work is not complete, and we still have a long way to go but through the strength of unity, prayer, and with God’s help all things are possible.”
The public housing community can expect to see a greater community police presence, updated guest list and trespass policies, neighborhood block watch, more security cameras and more community engagement efforts, HABD officials said.
Residents are encouraged to leave anonymous tips about crime or violations by calling HABD’s Tip Line at 205-521-0761 or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.