Record Low Crime Statistics Indicate a Safer Downtown

Posted Feb 24th, 2020 in Feat of the Week

Shocking news stories may lead you to believe there is a lot of crime in Wilmington. Statistics from the 2019 Wilmington Police Department’s Year End Crime Review tell a different story. In fact, Downtown Wilmington is statistically safer than it has ever been.

Between 2002 and 2019, serious crime (Part 1) has decreased by 68.6 percent in the downtown central business district (CBD). The police define the CBD area as bridge to bridge between the Cape Fear River, 3rd Street and Castle Street (this area aligns closely with the MSD). According to the FBI, Part 1 crimes include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, violent crime, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, arson and property crime.

Compared with 2018, Part 1 crimes have decreased by 8 percent in the CBD. This is a larger drop than across the entire city where serious crime dropped by only 1.1 percent.

The statistics reflect a community-wide effort to reduce crime—residents, business owners and law enforcement officials working together so people can feel safe. Employment gains and a better economy are probably contributing factors as well.

Since 2017, the Municipal Service District (MSD) has benefitted from having Ambassadors who stroll Downtown to provide additional sets of “eyes and ears” for local law enforcement. While difficult to quantify, it is likely the Ambassadors help provide a visible deterrent to crime in the CBD. 

In addition, the Ambassadors quickly address other issues that can influence safety perceptions, such as reporting non-functioning streetlights and removing graffiti. Working closely with the Police department, these combined efforts make a difference.

Safety is important to everyone. Whether you live and work here or visit to shop, dine and be entertained, we want you to enjoy all that Downtown Wilmington has to offer.

The Ambassador team works seven days a week, from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Hours on Fridays and Saturday are 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.  Sunday hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. They can be reached during operating hours by emailing

Learn More About The Ambassador Program