Crime in the central downtown area, the CAP District, has plummeted 64% since the inception of the organization (1995). The risk of being a victim of a serious crime is as low as our safest “over the mountain” suburban neighbors.
It sounds good, but what does it mean? The FBI measures serious crime (which includes Murder, Rape, Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Burglary, Larceny, Arson, and Theft of Vehicles) by looking at the number of crimes in relationship to the population*. This produces a figure which represents the statistical chances of a crime happening to you. In 2012, for example, the average rate in the city of Birmingham was 9, meaning an individual had a 9 in one hundred chance of being a victim over a year period (a significant decrease from 2011!). In the city of Homewood it was 7, Hoover 3 (2011 data), in Mountain Brook and Vestavia 2 and in the CAP service area downtown, the rate was 1 in a hundred. If you look at violent crime downtown, the odds drop to a chance of one tenth of 1 in a hundred.
That said, crime happens everywhere. No matter where you are, stay alert and make safety a habit. (see "Safety Tips")
*A statistical caveat when comparing downtown to a city: Normally, the population represents the number of people who live there. If the trend for downtown living continues, we may be able to count like that one day, but we use the Regional Planning Commission’s count of people who live and work downtown as our population. In reality, however, the chance of being a victim is far less, because this “population” figure doesn’t account for the 3.5 million plus folks who come downtown for cultural events that are unique to the heart of the region--the BJCC, Art Museum, McWane Science Center, Alabama Theater, Civil Rights Institute, etc.
The bottom line--You’re as safe and sound downtown as you would be in any of Birmingham’s over-the-mountain suburbs.
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
Breaking into a vehicle takes only seconds. This crime accounts for the largest amount of crime downtown (and in most areas).
With a few seconds of your time, you can prevent this crime!