North Central News

Homicides increase, other crimes drop

The city of Phoenix is experiencing some crime trends that are similar to other metropolitan areas in the country but doing well solving homicide cases.

Recently released FBI data shows across the country the number of property crimes, rapes and robberies decreased in 2020 compared to comparable months in 2019, according to a city of Phoenix news release. However, the city of Phoenix is performing better than the national average for solving homicides.

In Phoenix, rape cases decreased 5.4 percent, burglaries dropped down 23 percent and thefts saw a nearly 11 percent decline for last year compared to 2019. Those numbers mirror what is occurring in cities around the United States, where fewer property crimes are being committed but there are more murders taking place. Around the country, murders increased by more than 20 percent from 2019 to 2020. In New York City murders increased 33 percent and in Chicago they went up by 47 percent and these crimes jumped up 30 percent in Los Angeles. However, Phoenix is not seeing the type of record-breaking homicide cases it experienced many years ago. These cases hit their peak in 2003 when Phoenix lost a record 247 lives to homicides. While Phoenix’s population has increased by more than 20-percent since 2003, homicide numbers have decreased. There were 187 lives lost to homicides in 2020, as of mid-December.

In 70 percent of the Phoenix homicide cases, the person killed was the victim of someone who had a firearm. Last year homicide detectives were able to find and arrest almost three-quarters of the homicide suspects in Phoenix, as of mid-December. The Phoenix Police Department’s homicide clearance rate is 72 percent, which is more than 10-percent higher than the national Unified Crime Reporting murder and non-negligent manslaughter clearance rate of 61.4 percent. The unit’s increased successes are the result of a multi-pronged approach, which includes focusing resources on using critical pieces of evidence to pinpoint specific suspects. Phoenix Police Department recently launched a Crime Gun Liaison Program, where highly trained detectives work with the Crime Lab in collecting evidence during shooting investigations.

If you see criminal activity occurring, you should call 9-1-1. If it is not an emergency, you can call the non-emergency line at 602-262-6151. You can review crime trends in your neighborhood by visiting phoenix.gov/police/resources-information/crime-stats-maps.

 

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