GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Based on all the videos of robberies broadcast on the news lately, you could be forgiven for thinking that crime is up. You'd be wrong, however.
Lt. Pat Merrill of the Grand Rapids Police Department says through March of 2014, armed robberies in the city were down considerably from last year.
He concedes, the perception may be that they are up. "The problem is that we live in a world of a 24 hour news cycle; between social media and competing media outlets, people are awash in information constantly -- alerts to their phones, their mobile devices of any kind, television -- people are getting notified of activity in nearly real time now. That changes everything."
Merrill notes April has seen an increase in crime in Grand Rapids, one he expects will continue as the weather warms. "We expect to see the spike every year, April to May and actually into May should really start getting some action."