A Small Town in Georgia Has Suddenly Become the Third Most Dangerous in the State


Georgia boasts a rich history, culture, and natural beauty. However, not every town and city is safe and quiet. According to a new assessment, one little Georgia community has lately become the state’s third most deadly.

The Town of Pelham

Pelham is a community of around 4,000 people in Mitchell County, approximately 35 miles south of Albany. The town was formed in 1881 by railroad workers and named after Major John Pelham, a Confederate officer who died during the Civil War.

The town features a historic downtown district with numerous buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Pelham Commercial Historic District, the Hand Trading Company Building, and the Pelham Carnegie Library. The town has a diversified population, with a majority of African Americans and a sizable Hispanic community.

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Behind the picturesque veneer, Pelham has long struggled with crime, poverty, and social problems. The community has one of the state’s lowest median household incomes, with more than 30% of the population living below the federal poverty level. The town also has a high unemployment rate, with more than 10% of the labor force out of work. The town also has a high dropout rate, with only 65% of the population holding a high school diploma or above.

The Rise in Crime

According to the most recent Georgia Bureau of Investigation report, Pelham had a total of 287 crimes in 2023, resulting in a crime rate of 7,175 per 100,000 residents. This places Pelham third most dangerous in Georgia, trailing only East Point and College Park. According to the report, Pelham experienced 6 murders, 12 rapes, 25 robberies, 64 aggravated assaults, 87 burglaries, 88 larcenies, and 5 motor vehicle thefts in 2023.

According to the research, Pelham’s crime rate has climbed by 27.4% from 2022, when it was 5,630 per 100,000 people. The research also shows that Pelham’s violent crime rate, which includes murder, rape, robbery, and severe assault, has climbed by 32.6% since 2022, when it was 818 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Some of the variables that may have led to the increase in crime in Pelham include a lack of economic prospects, low educational attainment, drug trafficking, gang activity, and ineffective law enforcement. The town has a small economic foundation, with few industries and enterprises, and is heavily reliant on agriculture, which is susceptible to weather and market swings.

Also read: A Small Town in Illinois Has Suddenly Become the Third Most Dangerous in the State

The community also has a low educational level, with many students dropping out or failing to seek further education. The town is also a hub for drug trafficking, particularly methamphetamine, which feeds violence and addiction.

The community also includes various gangs, including the Crips, Bloods, and Gangster Disciples, who are involved in turf fights and shootings. The town also has a paucity of police resources, with only 12 policemen serving the total population. The police department also lacks current equipment, training, and technology for efficient crime prevention.

The Effort to Improve

Despite the dire circumstances, some Pelham citizens and officials are working to improve the community and reduce crime. Efforts that have been made or are planned include:

  • Economic development: Pelham wants to diversify its economy and provide more jobs for its citizens. This involves luring new firms, enhancing infrastructure and tourism, and assisting local entrepreneurs and small enterprises. Economic growth and stability would alleviate poverty, unemployment, and inequality while also improving the town’s quality of life and social cohesiveness.
  • Education and training: Pelham is attempting to strengthen its education system and provide opportunities for its students. This involves boosting school financing and quality, expanding academic and vocational programs, and offering additional scholarships and financial aid for college. Education and training would improve the people’s skills and knowledge, preparing them for a changing work market and global economy.
  • Drug prevention and treatment: Pelham is working to address the town’s drug problem and its repercussions. This includes expanding the availability and accessibility of drug prevention and education programs, increasing resources and support for drug treatment and recovery services, and improving coordination and cooperation between law enforcement, health care, and social service agencies in the fight against drug trafficking and use.
  • Community policing and engagement: Pelham is improving its police department and community relations. This involves hiring additional police and giving them better equipment, training, and technology; developing community policing techniques and practices; and involving locals in crime prevention and problem-solving programs.

Final Words

Finally, Pelham, Georgia, is the state’s third most hazardous city due to high crime rates. Economic hardship, education disparities, drug trafficking, gang activity, and law enforcement shortages complicate the town’s position. Although Pelham faces many issues, devoted individuals and government are working to improve economic development, education, drug prevention and treatment, and community policing to improve the city.

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