You can barely spend two days in Philadelphia without hearing reports of homicide cases. Instances of shooting, stabbing, or murder have become so rampant in Philadelphia since the 1960s. Both the young and the elderly have become victims of homicide. The rate at which homicides happen in Philadelphia is alarming and it calls for immediate attention to handling it before the situation gets out of hand.
Philadelphia Homicide Statistics
The city has very grim homicide statistics. For instance, since 2012, Philadelphia records homicides at the highest rate as compared to other major states. According to Phillymag.com, the number of homicides in Philadelphia has been constantly high for the last nine years. The highest number was recorded in 2007 when the number of murders totaled 391 by the end of the year which was almost as high as the 1990s when 400 homicides were recorded. There were over 300 murders for the next five years which is from 2007 to 2012. The number decreased slightly in 2013 to 246 and has been less than 300 since. This is considered to be a great achievement compared to the previous years.
In 2015, the number of homicides rose slightly to 280 which is less than that of 2007 but still it is a cause for alarm for the city’s residents and the authorities tasked with the responsibility of bringing the figures down. Richard Ross, a police commissioner in Philadelphia, affirms that the homicides have become one of the things that keep the police officers up even at night. The police outrightly admit that they have registered a rising number of killings in the recent past.
Murders In Other Cities
Homicides are not happening in Philadelphia alone. It is a major problem nationwide and happens in almost all the cities. A survey done by Major Cities Chiefs Association revealed that out of sixty-one police departments distributed all over the states, thirty-seven of them recorded a rise in cases of homicides. It is, therefore, a big menace to other regions like Atlanta, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Washington. However, Philadelphia seems to top the list when it comes homicide with the most number of cases happening within short durations.
Why Is This Happening in Philadelphia
Very little is known about the causes of homicides in Philadelphia. Leaders of the police, as well as criminologists, have found no specific explanation on what exactly causes these homicides in Philadelphia, let alone in the whole nation. Despite lacking reliable details on what leads to the killings, criminal and justice experts have held interviews in various parts of Philadelphia, still trying to understand more of the problem and what could be done to curb it. They have linked some factors to the causes of homicides in Philadelphia, which are:
Being a major urban center, Philadelphia can’t just escape the cycle of crimes that happen in cities. The influx of
people characterizing urban centers, which in turn increases the population of the town is quite noticeable in Philadelphia. Since some people cannot secure job opportunities, putting to consideration they are scarce; other resort to crime as a way to live even without a dependable source of income.
Distribution Of The Offenses Over A Large Area
While the police are working tirelessly to assure you of your security, it becomes entirely difficult to monitor these crimes as they are distributed over a wide area. The police also have limited resources and are still expected to cover very broad areas adequately.
Victims of homicides report to the police with high expectations that their cases will be solved within the shortest time possible and that justice will be accorded to them as it should. To their disappointment, the relevant authority takes a long period to look into their cases, and sometimes these cases end up unsolved. Studies show that between 2008 and 2014, the clearance rate of homicide cases declined from 69% to 57%. If the shooters are not apprehended, they are likely to cause more shootings.
Failure of the police to conduct aggressive patrols is another cause of the uptick cases of homicide in Philadelphia. The director of the FBI also affirmed the truth of this Ferguson Effect theory and agreed that it is one of the leading causes of homicides in the main towns.
These are just some of the reasons why the homicide rate has been high in a city like Philadelphia and it draws some reasons that require serious attention from authorities.