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Brendan McCarthy / Eyewitness News
Email: bmccarthy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @bmccarthyWWL

Violent crime in New Orleans was up nearly 13 percent through the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year, according to statistics released Friday night by the New Orleans Police Department.

Meanwhile, overall crime this year is up roughly two percent.

The statistics show big shifts in the categories of simple robbery, which jumped 40 percent, and in the area of assault, which had a 19 percent hike.

On the flip side, the NOPD also saw significant reductions this year in the total number of rapes, which had a 16 percent drop, and in burglaries, which dropped 10 percent.
The NOPD unveiled the statistics in a news release that highlighted 'fewer rapes, burglaries, auto thefts' in 2012.

The news release also noted that the NOPD has increased the number of arrests through the first nine months of this year by 11 percent.

'Our uptick in arrests is in part attributed to the number of residents who believe our officers can help them, and call us to report crime,' Superintendent Ronal Serpas said in a prepared statement. The chief also noted that a high number of New Orleans residents more than the national average -- report crime.

'It's also encouraging to see that we're moving in the right direction in terms of sexual assaults, home burglaries and car thefts,' Serpas also said.

There have been 168 murders to date this year. The NOPD is roughly on pace to match last year's 199 murders.

'It's true that we're not where we would like to be on overall crime, and we know that we have a long way to go,' Serpas continued. 'But we have confidence in proactive NOLA FOR LIFE plan initiatives that we're now implementing. They've proven effective in other cities, and should yield positive results for New Orleans as well.'

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