Thursday, January 6, 2011

Indianapolis Maintains 16 Year Low Homicide Rate

The Indianapolis Police Department preliminarily recorded 100 criminal homicides in 2010, one more than in 2009, when the city recorded a 16-year low. The modest increase is a good sign for a city that has and continues to run above the average number of homicides for comparable sized cities.

Homicides here were committed at a rate of 12.3 per 100,000 residents in each of the past two years, compared with the 11.4 average rate for midsized cities in 2009, according to the FBI, reported the Indianapolis Star.

City leaders credit sophisticated crime analysis, targeted policing, dogged legwork and community cooperation with keeping homicides in Indianapolis at their lowest levels in recent history. A declining tax base may limit some of the good police work being down in Indianapolis and other cities across the country,

Experts cite an aging population, aggressive gang suppression, demise of crack cocaine and higher incarceration rates. One expert makes it clear, celebration may be a bit premature. "A major reason that homicides have fallen is because they were so high in many cities that they had to come down,"James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston told the Star. "For that same reason, I think there is a good potential for another cyclical increase."

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