Crime on the Westside

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Knoxville (WVLT) - In the overnight hours of Monday night into Tuesday morning, Knoxville Police were investigating a series of crimes in West Knoxville. While police say none of these three overnight crimes in West Knoxville are related, it has some residents and officials talking.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford takes a look at crime in West Knoxville and Knox County.

We all know crime can happen anywhere. Some West Knoxville residents say while they don't see much, neighbors out west often feel it can't happen to them and unfortunately, that's just not the case.

"I think there's a lot more opportunity for crime out west because we're a little more relaxed," Beth Boline has lived in the Westwood subdivision off Northshore for more than a decade. "I've always felt it was a good place to live and own a home, pretty safe, but I don't think any community is immune to crime."

And neither do Knoxville Police.

"We don't talk perception. We talk realities and facts, and it's a fact that you can be a victim of a crime no matter where you're at in this city," says Darrell DeBusk, from the Knoxville Police Department.

KPD says West Knoxville has not seen an increase in crime, in fact, the city as a whole has improved.

"Across the city, across the board, crime is down more than 14% this year versus last year," DeBusk says.

"I represent the 2nd district, which is West of Neyland Drive," Councilwoman Barbara Pelot says she just attended a neighborhood association meeting with a KPD officer Monday night. "He was saying, I have nothing to report, and that really involved primarily the Bearden area, West Hills."

Pelot says West Knoxville residents can rest at ease knowing they're in a safe area. "There have been a few incidents, but they, to me, are not reflective of any increasing crime."

Knox County Commissioner Craig Leuthold says West Knox County is not a target for crime either. "Does it happen? Yes. Is it rampid? No."

Many Westside residents like Joy Smith say they wouldn't want to raise their children anywhere else. "I don't know if we're just fortunate and blessed to be in a great part of town, but I just feel like it's a safe place to be."

The Knox County Sheriff's Department says its computer system is down and if it's back up Wednesday, we'll show you the break down of east, west, north and south crime rates.

Officials say neighborhood watch groups are one of the best things you can be a part of to reduce crime in your area.

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