Sunday, January 7, 2024

Surprise! Homicide rates are falling in major cities across the country

After three years of distressingly high levels, homicides in the US declined significantly across the board in 2023 – even as the public’s concerns about crime remained at its highest in over two decades, reported CNN.

In particular, the five biggest cities in the US – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Phoenix – each saw homicides fall by over 10%, according to the latest data from those police departments.

Further, national data from the FBI covering January to September 2023 showed an 8.2% drop in all violent crime, including a 15.6% drop in murders, compared to the same period in 2022. These declines were seen in cities over 1 million people and those under 10,000, and across all four regional quadrants of the US. The full year of data won’t be released until this fall, but the trend is clear.

Taken together, the broad decline in crimes in 2023 suggests societal disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2020 police murder of George Floyd have faded, policing experts say.

Those years were marked by the closures of schools, courts and social services, a rise in gun sales and a dysfunctional community relationship with police. Now, officials say the decline in the homicide rate is a credit to reopened services, focused crime-fighting tactics, improved partnerships within the law enforcement community, and a significant reduction in the backlog of criminal court cases.

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