More murders, fewer solved in Philadelphia last year
More people are getting killed in Philadelphia, and fewer of those killings are getting solved, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Those are the takeaways from crime data for 2015: After two years of historically low homicide numbers, Philadelphia - like many other U.S. cities - saw its murder rate climb. There were 277 murders here last year, a 12 percent increase from 2014.
The rate at which homicides are solved by investigators has dropped - police made arrests in about 52 percent of killings in 2015. As recently as 2013, the figure was 71 percent.
Nonfatal shootings in the city also increased, by 18 percent.
Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey - whose last day in office was New Year's Eve - said no single factor explained the increased homicides and decreased clearance rate this past year. A spike in drug-related killings, plus witnesses who are reluctant to come forward, may have played a part, he said.
But the retiring commissioner pointed out a positive: 2015 was the third year in a row that murders in the city have stayed below 300. It's the first such three-year stretch since 1969, he said.
An analysis of crime and punishment from the perspective of a former prosecutor and current criminal justice practitioner.
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