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2012 FBI crime statistics released

Reported by: Jessica Albert
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Updated: 9/20/2013 7:11 pm

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Harold Blakely has lived in Tupelo for the last 13 years.

He speaks very highly of the city.

"It is one of the safest places I've lived," Blakely said.

The FBI's 2012 crime statistics were released Monday.

They say violent crime in the nation has gone up .7 percent.

The statistics say that 40 percent of violent crimes that happened last year were in the South, but the Lee County sheriff says the types of crimes reported may affect those numbers.

"The laws have changed where an arrest can be made a lot quicker," Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said, "which is going to throw a number up when it comes to violent crimes because domestic violence is thrown in there."

Law enforcement says these statistics come from crimes reported by local departments, but officers add that crime does not happen often in our area.

"The violent crime had just ticked up a little bit slightly, but if you look at the overall statistics, it's down 10 percent over 2003," Tupelo Police Department Captain Rusty Haynes said.

Sheriff Johnson says there is a reason why Tupelo is safer than other areas.

"I think we live in a great community," Johnson said. "It's that it's not just because of the law enforcement we have here but it is the culture of the people we have."

While Lee County is rather safe, officers do urge you to be on guard at all times.

"Well, I'm not going to say don't be worried at all," Haynes said. "Certainly be vigilant, pay attention to what you're doing."

That warning is something Blakely keeps on his mind when he is out at night, but overall, he feels he can be safe in this city.

"I go anywhere I want to in Tupelo and I don't have any problems," Blakely said. 

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