Crime Rates: North Decatur & South Decatur

In conjunction with the ongoing conversation in another thread about comparing crime rates in northern side of Decatur to the southern side, DPD’s Sgt. Jennifer Ross crunched some 2012-present crime statistics for us.  (The dividing line between north and south in this data breakdown is the railroad tracks.)

And of course, you can always dig deeper into Decatur’s crime data on

As you can see, in most cases the northern side of the city – which includes a large majority of downtown Decatur – has higher crime rates than the southern, more residential southern side of the city.


  • North = 41 *Includes 4 carjacking cases
  • South = 22


  • North = 121
  • South = 126

Entering Autos:

  • North = 245
  • South = 207

Theft by Taking/Motor Vehicle:

  • North = 84
  • South = 50

37 thoughts on “Crime Rates: North Decatur & South Decatur”

  1. Boy did my real estate agent ever sell me a bill of goods with her “you don’t want to move south of Ponce as a single woman” shtick.

    1. Honest question, AHID: What do these stats have to do with where a single woman should live in Decatur? What I mean is, how do they confirm or refute that realtor’s claim?
      Naturally there are more snatch and grab type robberies on the north side because it includes downtown. But obviously not all of those victims are residents of the north side or even Decatur. Burglaries, however, are slightly higher on the south side. I’d think that stat would be a better indicator if one must differentiate between the two side’s crime rate (it’s a wash, imo.).

      1. This was years and years ago, so long ago that I don’t remember the name of the realtor who was from Roswell. Her “wisdom” was clearly based on the perceptions of the time, not any data. And I didn’t know up from down about buying a house. Still don’t really.

        1. Reminds me a bit of my first-time house-hunting experience back in the mid-90s. The agent was a co-worker’s mother-in-law. The first time meeting her we told her we were interested in Lawrenceville or Lilburn. Her exact words were: “Too many Mexicans.” It was our one meeting. One lesson I learned: never do business with the family of people you have to work with everyday.

          1. Awkward. Yup, my realtor was the friend of a friend. How did I pick my house? It reminded me of my grandmother’s house. However, it didn’t have asbestos siding. Should have been a clue.

    1. Stats which exclude downtown would be more relevant to this discussion. The North vs. South argument is focused on whether our residential neighborhoods are more or less safe. Opportunistic criminals will always be attacted to places with a higher concentraction of potential victims (like downtown) or large events (like HS football games to steal iPhones from unsuspecting teens) to scope for easy opportunities, and I think that most would expect more crimes to occur downtown.

      1. But even that gets complicated DF, because while OAK village ain’t no Downtown Decatur, it is a higher concentration of folks and businesses. So you can not just say, “take out downtown so it’s apples to apples.” Right?

        1. Yes, WB, but downtown is at all times much more populated that Oakhurst Village, which mostly attracts nearby residents. I think Dawgfan is essentially correct.

        2. Agreed. Accounting for Oakhurst Village is difficult (and I inadvertently deleted a statement to such in an edit of my post), and people live downtown. But, downtown undoubtedly skews the statistics in this somewhat ridiculous conversation about respective crime rates on each side of the tracks.

  2. The explanation for the differential in north/south figures may lie in the wisdom of Willie Sutton, who, when asked why he robbed banks, said, “That’s where the money is.”

    1. “The explanation for the differential in north/south figures may lie in the wisdom of Willie Sutton, who, when asked why he robbed banks, said, “That’s where the money is.” ”

      True, though I’d add “it’s also where downtown is.” As a downtown resident, though, I take some comfort in living in one of the mid-rises, which are almost impossible to burglarize (the mid-rises may partially explain why the burglary rate is lower on the north side.).

    2. Actually, it has more to do with the fact that Winnona Park benefits by proximity to Agnes Scott College and Columbia Seminary. Each has its own police patrolling their respective campuses and adjacent properties. And, the Decatur police all gas up at the Public Works building on Talley St. so they drive through often.

      So, we keep our gold bullion stacked up on the front lawn. Yeah.

      1. Well, East Lake Marta is closer to Oakhurst and the southside. I haven’t seen any flat screens from there on the train though.

        1. Probably because East Lake is almost a mile from Oakhurst. And because no one mentioned flat screen thefts on the Square.

          1. I mentioned flat screens, jokingly, because burglaries happened more often on the south side vs. the north. These comparisons are all a bit silly anyway, since we’re looking at absolute numbers when there is far more activity on the north side as it includes downtown (and yes, a MARTA station with much higher usage than East Lake).

  3. Crimereports is a pretty good source. Quit speculating and go check it out for yourself.

    Eyeballing last 6 mos crime seems to indicate a pretty even split across our fair city’s residential areas with pockets of more crime on the square and around Oakhurst commercial area.

    The ‘holy s**t’ moments come when 1. you pan the map out a bit and can see the crime concentration here in Decatur vs. West toward downtown. What seems odd is that there is no crime to the east, I am assuming Dekalb county doesnt participate as there is no other feasible explanation. And 2. the number of registered sex offenders, at least as represented in this data.

  4. North is higher, but not by an order of magnitude. North includes Downtown. It’s pretty much a wash.

          1. You three are my favorites! Add in Parker Cross, who doesn’t seem to come around much anymore, and you could take the show on the road.

  5. Besides the Decatur Police who answer the 911 calls the city is crawling with additional police: sheriff’s office, marshalls office, DeKalb police, Marta police and every other agency in the county who has business at the court house. Just a casual glance at the number of police in Decatur, say in the afternoon, then I have to ask why there is any crime in Decatur? Having this many additional police in the city is a huge resource that is not being exploited. Has anyone pressed the city to utilize this police multiplier? Why arent we engaging or cooperating with the DeKalb Police since they have policing responsibilities on 3 sides of the city? Can the city and DeKalb cross swear their officers to share jurisdiction? Assuming that criminals will be deterred by the 4 or 5 Decatur officers on patrol in the city is a false perception.

  6. I have to ask why, in a downtown that has become largely pedestrian-oriented, I still see more police in cars than I do on bike or on foot?

    1. I’m not sure that police on bikes are intimidating but they sure are cute. I vote for more police on bicycles. It might solve the profiling problem too. It’s hard to profile when you’re on a bicycle and not looking too typical yourself.

    2. Because they have to be ready to rush off to the gated communities of Winnona Park, Westchester, or Great Lakes when a neighbor sees an African American parapro eating his lunch outside school?

      1. Westchester is a gated community? It’s the cheapest part of town right now. (Gentrification alert!)

      2. …assuming you meant the Westchester Drive/Chelsea Heights area. Maybe you meant Zonal Westchester which is the new wider elementary school zone that includes areas formerly assigned to Clairemont or Oakhurst. In which case I would use the term entitled, not gated.

Comments are closed.