NORFOLK -- Incidents of crime in Downtown Norfolk dropped significantly in 2013, according to data released Tuesday.

According to the 2013 Downtown Planning District 59 report, crime rates from 2013 dropped 9.7 percent compared to 2012 in the greater Downtown Norfolk area and 29 percent over the last five years.

The data also shows a 7 percent fall in vandalism and 19 percent decline in larceny from auto crimes.

'It's great to see this kind of reduction of incidents at the start of a new year for Downtown Norfolk. Surely our job is never done until there are no significant incidents in the entire City,' said Norfolk Police Chief Goldsmith. 'We recognize the impact of this downtrend for downtown, and continue to work towards similar results in other Norfolk communities and neighborhoods.'

According to a Southern Institute of Research survey, the perception of safety is one of the key drivers of Downtown Norfolk's overall positive reputation, likeliness to recommend and likeliness to visit.

'It is extremely important that downtown visitors, residents and businesses feel safe,' expressed Mary Miller, President & CEO of DNC. 'With our Public Service Ambassadors program, we physically have a presence on the streets to promote safety in downtown. As an organization, we will continue to advocate for a safe, friendly and spotless downtown.'

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