Philly's violent crime forecast
Philadelphia may be looking at another low-bloodshed year — if not the lowest on record — based on the Philadelphia Police Department’s reported stats for the first six weeks of 2015. Violent crime is down 3 percent since this time last year, and almost 25 percent since this week in 2009.
Here are the PPD’s violent crime numbers for the first six weeks of January, with the up-or-down scale for the same six-week period in 2014:
- Homicides 27 (down 16 percent)
- Rape 107 (down 7 percent)
- Robbery 737 (down 10 percent)
- Aggravated assaults w/ gun 190 (up 11 percent)
- Aggravated assaults w/o gun 413 (down 2 percent)
- Total: 1,474 (down 3 percent)
That drop comes after a 7 percent overall decrease in violent crime from 2014. Will the trend continue? Crime occurs in choppy waves throughout the year, with some months being bloodier than others. But if the early 2015 figures tell us anything, it’s that we’re not going backwards.
The last two years returned historically low homicide numbers for the city. Between 2012 and 2013, murder fell by a staggering 25 percent, from 331 to 247 murders annually, the lowest recorded number since 1967, and about half of the all-time-high 500 murders logged in 1990.
The PPD attributes the citywide drop to greater civic outreach, regaining neighborhood trust, and more data-driven policing that targets repeat violent offenders.
Another theory is that maybe Philadelphians are just arguing less.
Arguments lead to murder more than anything else in Philly. Since 2007, between 40 and 50 percent of homicides each year were motivated by an argument. Drug-related murders are classified separately though, and there may be some overlap between the two categories.