Many cities across New England prepare for an increase in crime during the summertime, and Manchester, New Hampshire is no different.
Police in Manchester are beefing up patrols in the wake of an alarming uptick in violent crimes in the last three weeks.
"When we see this kind of an uptick we’re obviously going to adjust," said police chief Carlo Capano.
Capano said that he fully expects to see a spike in crime during the summertime, but what’s happened recently is out of the ordinary. He said he had to do something.
"It’s a been a rough two weeks for the city of Manchester," Capano said.
The chief referenced a homicide, stabbings, fights and an innocent woman who shot outside her home.
Most recently, officers responded to Crosstown Variety at about 9:15 p.m. on Sunday after a man threatened the clerk with a knife.
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She didn’t want to talk on camera, but you can see her in the surveillance video.
She says she was caught off guard because the suspect is one of her regular customers who suddenly turned violent.
"I was scared," she said.
When she picked up the phone to call police he took off and tragedy was avoided.
But over the last three weeks, that hasn’t been the case in other situations. Chief Capano says officers have been called to at least a half a dozen crimes where people are seriously hurt. That’s why he’s putting more cruisers on the streets, and in some cases two officers to a cruiser.
"What we do is have officers out there, two officers per car, they’re able to jump more serious calls which frees up some of the patrol officers to handle their call volume," Capano explained.
Despite the recent uptick in violence, the chief says most of these crimes are targeted. So, residents shouldn’t be scared, but vigilant.
"They need to know we are out here working diligently," Capano said. "Officers, investigators are all doing everything they can."
Chief Capano is also asking for public to do its part here. He said that recently, witnesses and victims have been refusing to cooperate with police – making investigations nearly impossible.