Still a lot of crime

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According to victims, there is still a lot of crime in downtown Knoxville. “Especially after the sun goes down,” adds recent mugging victim Bo Gentry. Downtown activist Holly R. Thanthou disagrees. “There is much less crime downtown than at West Town Mall, the scourge of suburbia,” she exclaimed. Police reports show that the number of crime incidents to be roughly 5% more at West Town Mall than downtown, but that the population of West Town Mall is on average 300% higher, including hours the mall isn’t open. The report also noted that mall crime mostly consisted of skateboarding, loitering, and underage smoking. Most suburbanites are scared of downtown due to the crime rate and lack of parking, but activists are trying to change the perception. “The problem is that, although they are changing perceptions through an effective marketing campaign, the fact remains that you’ll still get mugged, and that really sucks,” explained Gentry.