Jan 26, 2023 - News

Richmond's murder rate drops while counties see rise

Homicides in the Richmond Area
Data: Axios Research; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios

The number of homicides in Richmond plummeted in 2022.

Why it matters: It's a welcome reversal after a nationwide increase in murders that coincided with the beginning of the pandemic.

By the numbers: Homicides in Richmond dropped from 90 in 2021 — the highest number in nearly two decades — to 57 in 2022.

  • Meanwhile, violent crime overall was flat.

👀 Zoom out: While numbers were down in the city, Chesterfield and Henrico counties each reported record homicides, according to figures provided by those agencies and FBI statistics.

  • Chesterfield saw homicides tick up from 12 to 18.
  • And Henrico County reported an increase from 25 to 30.

Of note: The rate of homicides per capita remains significantly higher in the city.

What they're saying: Acting police chief Rick Edwards credited the city's drop to a midyear shift in strategy to focus patrols on gun violence hotspots identified by the department's analysis team.

  • “We were on track to have another really bad year,” he said during a crime briefing Wednesday. “So what we wanted to do was look at those data points.”

Yes, but: The number of thefts and burglaries rose all over the region.

Edwards attributed a 22% increase in property crimes in Richmond almost entirely to thefts from motor vehicles.

  • He said that includes a concerning jump in the number of firearms stolen from vehicles, which he said increased from 413 in 2021 to 714 last year.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Richmond.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Richmond stories

Richmondpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Richmond.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more