Home » Homicides in major US cities falling at ‘one of fastest rates ever’ – report | US crime

Homicides in major US cities falling at ‘one of fastest rates ever’ – report | US crime

by John Jefferson
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Homicides in major US cities are falling at likely “one of the fastest rates of decline ever recorded”, a crime analysis has found.

Jeff Asher of AH Datalytics, a New Orleans-based data-analytics company focused on criminal justice, education and the non-profit sector, discussed that finding with the Wall Street Journal on Monday after combing through quarterly data recently released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“There’s just a ton of places that you can point to that are showing widespread, very positive trends,” Asher told the Journal.

In the company’s sample of almost 200 cities with varying population sizes, murder was down by 20.8% from the period beginning in January through the end of March of this year when compared with the same time period in 2023, as Asher wrote in a recent Substack post on the subject.

Furthermore, in some prominent cities like Washington DC, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Columbus, Nashville and Philadelphia, murder is down by more than 30%.

Asher’s company’s analysis is based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, which collects data from local law enforcement agencies across the country. Because participation in the program is voluntary, not all crime is reported, so experts caution it’s not a complete picture.

Additionally, FBI data from 2023 will not be audited nor made official until about October. And 2024 data will not be audited and made official until about October 2025.

Nonetheless, the preliminary figures reflect particularly heartening news for the US because they suggest that murder had already “plummeted” in 2023 “at one of the fastest declines ever recorded”, according to what Asher wrote in a Substack post late last year.

Updated preliminary information suggests those numbers are again falling this year – but at an even faster clip, setting up a return to levels pre-dating the Covid-19 pandemic, when the US experienced a spike in violent crime.

The early available statistics also mirror a decline in homicides seen in the 1990s.

The YTD murder dashboard is now online with 2024 data covering 186 cities. Murder is down 20.8% in our city sample. https://t.co/yQaJz1PILY

— Jeff Asher (@Crimealytics) April 4, 2024

“Nationally, you’re seeing a very similar situation to what you saw in the mid-to-late 90s. But it’s potentially even larger in terms of the percentages and numbers of the drops,” Asher said.

Asher has made it a point to say that even a substantial decline in homicides still involves a collection of “hundreds or thousands of tragedies” for families across the US. But he has said the data paints a picture that is “as encouraging” as can be given that grim reality.

It’s not just murder rates that have fallen.

Asher said with the exception of motor vehicle theft, all crimes – such as violent crimes, defined as “murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault” and property crime, defined as “burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson” – were down “a considerable amount” in 2023 compared with 2022.

At the end of 2023, Asher wrote: “Americans tend to think that crime is rising, but the evidence we have right now points to sizable declines this year (even if there are always outliers). The quarterly data in particular suggests 2023 featured one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the United States in more than 50 years.”

Crime has been a principal theme in Republican campaign messaging in recent years. Earlier this year, Donald Trump said without evidence that undocumented immigrants were producing increases in violent crime.

“You know, in New York, what’s happening with crime – is it’s through the roof. And it’s called ‘migrant’,” the former president and presumptive 2024 Republican nominee said at a rally in Michigan in February.

A 2024 Pew research poll reported “a majority of Americans (57%) [believe] the large number of migrants seeking to enter the country leads to more crime”.

Yet national data fails to support Trump’s claim or the public’s stubborn preconceptions that crime is eternally on the rise.

Asher wrote: “Tell your friends and family because they probably think crime is surging nationally. And in this case, they’re almost certainly wrong.”

Read the full article here

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