Sunday, January 2, 2011

Homicide is Contagious

Homicide is contagious was the conclusion of a study focusing on Flint, Michigan's 2010 homicide rate. In 2010, Flint had 65 homicides surpassing the previous record of 61 homicides set in 1986, according to the Flint Journal.

The study was conducted by the Minneapolis, MN-based Center for Homicide Research. A team of researches at the center studied Flint’s homicides in December to learn why Homicides had increased in Flint.

“It’s spread person to person,” Dallas Drake told the Journal. Drake is the principal researcher for the volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that aims to publicize homicide issues and to reduce incidences of homicide. “Sometimes it’s spread through revenge. Sometimes it’s someone who is at a murder scene and becomes incensed and decides to become violent.”

The high frequency of homicides in a short period led researchers to speculate some cases might be related, Drake told the Journal.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling told the Journal he agreed with much of the report.“The report is accurate in identifying that these violent crimes are part of a cycle, and we had an acceleration of that cycle,” Walling said. “One violent crime often leads to another, when the drugs are combined with a breakdown in family structure and lack of economic opportunity.”

The study suggests new technology could help stem the violence. Shot-spotter technology, which can detect the occurrence of gunfire, more street cameras and plate reader technology that can document license plates could prove useful, the study suggested.

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