Sep 20, 2022 - News

Homicides and overall violent crime are up in Philadelphia

Illustration of gun barrels getting longer forming an upward trending bar chart.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's shaping up to be another grim year for Philadelphia, which is on pace to eclipse last year's homicide record.

  • Plus, overall violent crime is surging, and robberies have more than doubled compared to this time in 2021, according to city data.

The big picture: Philly is bucking a national trend captured in a midyear survey of large law enforcement agencies by the Major Cities Chiefs Associations, which shows that homicides are dropping in most major U.S. cities, but total violent crime is on the rise.

  • Homicides decreased by 2.4% and rapes fell by 5% in major cities from Jan. 1 to June 30, compared to the same period last year, Axios' Russell Contreras reports.
  • Overall violent crime spiked 4.2% nationwide, according to the midyear survey.

Between the lines: The annual survey isn't official crime data, but it's used to gauge crime trends ahead of the release of the FBI Uniform Crime Report that comes out in October — the country's foremost way to understand crime changes.

By the numbers: The city has reported 388 homicides so far this year, up slightly from 384 the same time last year, when Philly set a record with 562 homicides.

  • Overall shootings have increased by 3%, according to city stats.
  • Overall violent crime is up 7% from the same time last year.
  • Robberies in which perpetrators used guns are up 60%, while rapes decreased by more than 25%.
  • Property crimes are up more than 30%, with businesses getting hit hard as commercial burglaries have risen a staggering 50%.

What they're saying: John Roman, a senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, told Axios that Philly has always been an outlier when it comes to violence among large U.S. cities.

  • Plus: He suggested a decline in public sector workers since the start of the pandemic is potentially limiting the city's response to the violence.
  • "That's really the thing that's keeping Philadelphia from bouncing back — it just doesn't have the local infrastructure support in government and social services to get it back on track," Roman said.

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