Violent Crime Up, Other Offenses Down in 2021

Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 6:09am

Homicide rates in major U.S. cities in the first half of 2021 remained above the levels of recent years, the think tank Council on Criminal Justice said in an update of earlier reports. Homicides jumped 16 percent compared with the first half of 2020, an increase of 259, and by 42 percent from the first half of 2019, up by 548. The rate of increase slowed from the first to the second quarter of 2021. The homicide rate still was much below that of the early 1990s, 15 deaths per 100,000 residents compared 28 murders per 100,000 in 1993.

The report was based on a survey of 29 major cities, ranging from Norfolk, Va.,population 245,000, to Los Angeles, popuation 3.97 million.

Our conclusions have not changed, said authors criminologist Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri St. Louis an Ernesto Lopez: "As the pandemic subsides, long-lasting reductions in violence
and crime will require pursuing evidence-based crime-control strategies and enacting long-needed
reforms to policing."

Aggravated and gun assault rates were higher in the first half of 2021 than in 2020. Aggravated assault rates increased nine percent while gun assault rates went up fiive percent. Motor vehicle theft rates were 21 percent higher.

Burglary, larceny, and drug offense rates were lower in the first half of 2021 than the first half of 2020. Other major crimes declined, including robbery (six percent), residential burglary (nine percent), nonresidential burglary (nine percent) larceny (six percent) and drug offenses (12 percent).

Reported domestic violence rates were two percent higher during the first six months of 2021 than in the first half of 2020. Rosenfeld and Lopez said that result is based on just 12 of the 29 cities surveyed and should be viewed with caution.

Since the council's last report on crime trends, Boston, Chandler, Az.,and Detroit have been added to the sample bit Houston, New York, Omaha, Portland, San Diego, and San Jose have been removed because data were unavailable.

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