The homicide rate has spiked nearly 10 percent in 50 of the biggest U.S. cities since 2021.
Cities with the highest increase in homicide rates are:
- Kansas City, MO
- Detroit, MI
- St. Louis, MO
- New Orleans, LA
- Milwaukee, WI
- Albuquerque, NM
- Philadelphia, PA
- Norfolk, VA
- Nashville, TN
- Oakland, CA
Christopher Salvatore an Associate Professor, Chairperson of the Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University explains the cause of the spike.
“There are a few explanations as to why we have seen homicide increases across the US. The last few years have been a period of instability/challenge with COVID-19, social unrest, and political change, he explained. During these periods faith in social institutions waivers (like the criminal justice system) and overall social control may weaken. In addition, we had people forced to stay home, and a large portion of crimes are committed by those we know – so crimes that increased recently such as domestic violence, assaults, and homicide may be due to interpersonal conflicts, increased use of drugs and alcohol, as well as increased social and economic pressures due to the pandemic.”
Salvator stated that “the increasing cost of living and inflation” and “social debates around issues like abortion and gun control” are some of the reasons the U.S homicide rates could increase. He also explained that if we see resolutions to these issues then the rates would decrease.
A professor at Bates College, Michael Rocque, said that several strategies from the police are needed for the homicide rates to decrease again.
“Several well-known strategies have been shown to reduce homicide. We know that police can be very instrumental here, with focused deterrence policies. To the extent that policing has been negatively affected by the pandemic or in terms of reputation due to police violence, steps toward improving and strengthening police will be important for any reduction in homicide…The pandemic has created a lot of trauma and nearly every aspect of society has been experiencing the consequences of that trauma. To just hope it will go away or get better may be unreasonable. We need strong policies in place to put our society back together, from jobs to inflation to community organizations.”
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