Apr 16, 2024 - News

Boston's massive drop in homicides leads nation

Data: AH Datalytics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Boston saw the largest drop in homicides of any major city in the first three months of 2024, according to an analysis by AH Datalytics.

  • But it's not the only major city where homicides have declined.

The big picture: This year's violent crime patterns could shed light on whether Boston's drop in homicides is a product of the city's violence prevention measures or part of a national trend.

State of play: Boston saw the largest drop in homicides of any major city in AH Datalytics' analysis, an Axios review found.

Catch up fast: Boston has only had two homicides so far this year, according to recently released police data.

  • Nilton Fernandes, 24, was killed in a New Year's Day shooting in Dorchester.
  • Aanya Vinay, 25, was killed in a murder-suicide at the Moxy hotel in February.

Yes, but: Several people have been injured in shootings, including a man who was shot in the chest in Dorchester this weekend, per NBC Boston.

Zoom out: Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C. and Miami have also seen major drops in homicides as of early April.

  • Homicides are also down in New Haven, Connecticut, and Providence, Rhode Island.

​​Between the lines: Polls show crime continues to be a top concern ahead of the 2024 election, where Republicans regularly edge Democrats, but dropping homicide rates could take the steam out of this crucial GOP advantage, writes Axios' Russell Contreras.

So far, Boston is poised to continue the trend from last year, when the city had a record-low homicide rate.

  • The city recorded 37 murders last year, though two of those homicides actually happened in 2022, per the Suffolk District Attorney's office.
  • The real test, however, will be whether violent crime will peak again in the summer.

Mayor Michelle Wu, who pledged to curb homicides and shootings, attributes the initial 2024 data to community policing and her administration's steps to prevent violence, per the Boston Globe.

Editor's note: The chart headline has been corrected to note that it is a selection of major cities, not the most populous cities.

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