Philadelphia has seen an increase in homicides this year. This is not an isolated phenomenon – multiple cities across the United States, including Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta had more homicides by the midpoint of 2016 than they had at the same time in 2015. There is no definite answer to this rise in crime. There have been a few hypotheses posed by criminologists and law enforcement officials, such as decreased police aggression and the high number of unsolved cases spurring further violence. Furthermore, some feel that there is no real reason for the increase in homicides and that urban crime is simply random and chaotic by nature.
It is important to note that although the homicide rate in Philadelphia increased by eight percent from 2015 to 2016, the overall trend in the country is a decrease in violent crime. This decrease includes all violent crimes, such as rape, assault, and robbery. Total violent crime in Philadelphia is down six percent and shooting incidents are down 17 percent. In 2014, Philadelphia celebrated its second year of a historically-low homicide total.
This has been a trend for more than a decade. In the late 1990s, Philadelphia routinely ended each year with more than 400 reported homicides. By 2012, the number was down to 331, and by 2014 the city’s police commissioner felt it was realistic to see the number dip below 200.
The “clearance rate” of criminal offenses refers to the number that are resolved by police. By mid-2016, the Philadelphia police’s clearance rate for homicides was 56 percent, the lowest it has been in years. From 2008 to 2014, the clearance rate never went below 57 percent and many times, was higher than 69 percent.
If you are facing a criminal charge in Philadelphia, including any type of homicide charge such as murder or manslaughter, you need to start working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to determine an effective legal strategy as soon as possible. Complete our online form or call 844-742-7591 to schedule your initial legal consultation with Gigliotti Law Group in our Cherry Hill, New Jersey offices. Our team of experienced South Jersey criminal lawyers proudly represents clients throughout South Jersey, including Gloucester County, Mercer County, Burlington County, and Camden County.