From Matty Rhoades
How are D.C.’s crime stats looking for the first half of 2011? The main number everyone looks for in D.C. is homicides and there is good news to report: There were 55 homicides in the first six months of 2011 compared to 60 in the same period of 2010, an 8% drop.
Overall, crime was up 4% due to an 8% rise in property crimes during the January-June period. Violent crime was actually down 7% during the first six months of 2011 from the same period in 2010. All numbers are from the MPD Crime Database.
See the chart below for specific D.C. crime numbers for the January-June period. Later this week we will have six-month stats for the Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.
Property Crime Up 8%. There were increases in four of the five types of property crimes: burglaries are up 13%, thefts up 17%, theft from auto up 4%, and arson up 12% (a small number of crimes). However, there were 11% fewer stolen autos in the first six months of 2011.
Since posting two pieces on DC’s murder rate being 4.56 times higher than New York City’s, there have been some very good comments and questions about the validity of comparing Washington, DC’s homicide rate with that of New York City. Some said that for a more accurate comparison, you should add the homicide rates of suburban jurisdictions with DC and then compare it to New York City.
For the sake of comparisons, I did just that, adding five surrounding jurisdictions to DC. I lumped the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s, and the Virginia counties of Fairfax and Arlington along with Alexandria City in with DC. These six jurisdictions have 3,725,610 people (2008 estimates) with 274 murders 2009. New York City has 8,363,710 people (2008 estimate) with 461 murders in 2009.
The DC Metro area comes out badly compared to New York City. The DC Metro area, as defined above, had a homicide rate of 7.35 homicides per 100,000 people in 2009 (it was 9.88 in 2008). New York City‘s homicide rate last year was 5.51 homicides per 100,000 people (it was 6.3 in 2008).
Bottom line: The DC metro area, as defined here, has a homicide rate that is 33% greater than New York City. If you compare city versus city, the final 2009 numbers show that DC’s homicide rate last year was 4.32 times that of New York City.
Moreover, the range of homicide rates in New York City’s five boroughs was not nearly as great compared to the range in the six DC-area jurisdictions. In New York, the rate goes from 3.28 homicides per 100,000 people in Staten Island to 7.82 in Brooklyn.
In the six DC-area jurisdictions, the rate ranges from 0.95 homicides per 100,000 people in Arlington to 23.88 in DC.
Homicide stats by jurisdiction are below the fold. (more…)
We got some good, and highly anticipated, news yesterday. Our city’s murder rate went down: 25% from last year’s 186 murders. The official number for 2009 was 140 143 homicides in a population of 600,000 people–a homicide rate of 23.33 murders per 100,000 people.
Our homicide rate is still high. But, 2009 was a mind-boggling improvement from 1991 when there were 479 murders in DC. There were 606,900 people in DC that year (1990 Census) for an almost unbelievable rate of 78.92 murders per 100,000 people. This was the period of gang-led crack cocaine wars in many large U.S. cities.
I asked the question, “Why is DC’s Murder Rate 4.56 Times Higher Than New York City’s? in a December 13 posting. I don’t have the answer, but the point of my posting was this:
We hear a great deal about DC’s declining murder rate. It is, indeed, very good news. But here is the ugly reality. The murder rate in New York City is 4.99 homicides per 100,000 people (through Nov. 22 this year). In DC, the homicide rate is 22.77 per 100,000 people (through Dec. 10 this year). So, what is the answer? I don’t know, but I do wish that we (residents and elected officials) would start to ask why and try to figure out what we can do to bring down the rate of violent crime in DC. At the very least, shouldn’t we be asking the question?
Yesterday dcist ran a posting on DC’s declining homicide rate, “D.C. To Record Lowest Number of Homicides in 40 Years.” As of now, there have been 67 comments (and some good discussion) on DC’s murder rate and why it is so high (or not, I guess, depending on your perspective what data you might choose to include). Go over and check out the comments. Let the discussion continue. We need some answers. Or, at the very least, we should be asking the question.
From today’s Washington Post: “Homicide Increases East of Anacostia; Killings Not In Usual Places.“
The changing neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, where public housing has given way to new market-rate and subsidized homes, have been the source of more than half of the homicides in the District since the beginning of the year. Eleven of the 20 killings in the city since January were in communities like historic Anacostia and Congress Heights, places starting to reflect a mix of long-term residents and newcomers drawn to the new development. Last year at this time, there were seven in the area, the 7th Police District.
Borderstanians: This message from MPD Chief of Police Cathy Lanier was posted on Yahoo! Groups on Sunday night, January 4. Chief Lanier provides some interesting, helpful statistics on D.C. crime–and she has some good news.
Happy New Years, everyone. Below some facts on where we ended our year with the help of our committed community members. We ended the year with huge victories on crime:
- Violent crime down 5% citywide.
- Biggest crime reduction citywide: MPD’s Fifth District.
- All gun crimes were down by double digits:
- Robberies with guns down 12%.
- Assaults with guns down 14%.
This article,”Rise in Young Killers Worries D.C.,” appeared in yesterday’s Washington Post:
Even in a year in which the homicide numbers barely budged, D.C. police and prosecutors see signs that don’t bode well for the future: an increase in younger killers, apt to open fire on crowded city streets, who could not care less about the damage they cause. Many young suspects put their heads down and even try to sleep during interrogations, according to D.C. homicide detectives. Others seem cold inside, with no sense of reality.