If Columbia seems less dangerous these days, there may be a reason. Data from The Columbia Police Department show that crime rates have decreased since 2011 with the exception to reported rape and sexual assaults.
Columbia police have looked at past crimes and trends in the city, and have adapted to prevent future crimes. Columbia Police Department Spokesperson Latisha Stroer recalls recent changes.
“We had some violence that occurred in and around Douglas Park,” Stroer said. “We had two-man units placed there to help this relationship with the community and that area.”
The increase in reported rapes and sexual assaults has alarmed many; however, members of different sexual assault prevention organizations see an encouraging sign in the unfortunate trend.
Organizations such as True North, educate people in preventing sexual assaults. Barbara Hodges, the executive director of True North says the trend is an indication that their programs are working.
“It’s an unfortunate thing that it is even occurring at all,” Hodges said. “But the more that women will report, then the easier it will be for the next woman who is assaulted to be comfortable reporting it.”