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Report: Baltimore had 2nd-highest homicide rate in U.S. in Q4 2022

BALTIMORE, MD—With the homicide rate having decreased by an average of roughly 7 percent in 45 of the biggest U.S. cities between Q4 2021 and Q4 2022, WalletHub this week released its report on the Cities With the Biggest Homicide Rate Problems.

Baltimore came in at No. 2 on the list, placing behind only Atlanta, GA.

In order to determine which cities have the biggest homicide problems, WalletHub compared 45 of the largest U.S. cities based on per capita homicides in Q4 2022 as well as per capita homicides in Q4 2022 vs. Q4 2021 and Q4 2020.

Cities with Biggest Homicide Rate Problems
1. Atlanta, GA 6. Chesapeake, VA
2. Baltimore, MD 7. Chicago, IL
3. Detroit, MI 8. Memphis, TN
4. Las Vegas, NV 9. Jacksonville, FL
5. Kansas City, MO 10. Denver, CO

Why has there been a recent spike in homicides across the country?

“A large part of this is due to quality-of-life issues, lack of community, and lack of resources in cities and towns. When COVID hit, many people were left to stay at home with their family members, working remotely, potentially with children who were also learning from home. This led to exacerbated mental and physical health issues; those who were out of work or with employment without the benefit of insurance coverage were unable to get treatment for such needs. Many people lost their jobs, or were permitted less hours, leading to an increase in those living in poverty. Which is a serious strain on anyone. People whose children counted on food at school had to scramble to figure out how to ensure their children. People living in violent and abusive homes were often trapped in this environment. when there is no way to escape this situation, things can turn from bad to worse. While most people were at home, they were asked to socially distance… rather than physically distance. The sense of community and relationships in general were damaged. There was a collective experience of trauma that has yet to be addressed.”
– Erin Grant, PhD – Associate Professor, Washburn University

Will more homicides renew police reputation, or have the opposite effect?

“The impact of an increased homicide rate on the reputation of police depends entirely on whether one believes that the police can control the rate of violence. Studies have continually found that the impact of conventional policing on crime rates is weak, if at all existent. Nonetheless, we do rely on the police to investigate homicides and bring offenders to justice (though the national homicide clearance rate according to the FBI is only about 50%). Again, the extent to which you credit or fault police for homicide rates also depends on the kind of homicides being committed. Public pressure on police to reduce homicide rates tends to be considerably stronger when the violence is public in nature, like gangland violence. However, the police are less faulted for increases in rates of interpersonal violence, like domestic violence or inter-familial conflict, even when that violence results in death. Simply, police are expected to police our streets, but not our personal lives and we evaluate their performance accordingly.”
– Jorge X. Camacho – Clinical Lecturer; Policing, Law, and Policy Director of the Justice Collaboratory, Yale Law School

“The profession of policing constantly stays in a precarious position. It is hard to say in more homicides will renew the police reputation. My research, which is grounded in the lived personal and professional experiences of community residents and first responders like police officers, surfaces that a renewal of the reputation requires acknowledging and addressing disparate police service delivery and interactions or encounters with the police that play out along the color and socio-economic lines. My research and the research of others brings some clarity – the American public is not anti-policing per se, but anti-bad policing.”
– Brian N. Williams, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, The University of Virginia

How has the homicide rate increase impacted life in U.S. cities?

“Overall, the past few years have seen a marked increase in public unease and increased perceptions of disorder. Increased homicide rates only contributed to this diminished outlook, even if on an individual basis someone is statistically just as safe as they were before the homicide rate increase. The fact is that most homicides are committed by people who are known by or otherwise connected to their victims; rates of homicides among strangers are comparatively lower. This means that an individual’s risk of becoming a victim of violence is not always correlated to the general rate of violence. But personal perceptions are not determined by statistics, they are determined by the information a person is receiving and, by and large, that information has been negative, including persistent media depictions of increased violence and personal risk.”
– Jorge X. Camacho – Clinical Lecturer; Policing, Law, and Policy Director of the Justice Collaboratory, Yale Law School

“Fear of random crime and violence has always been a driving force that impacts public perception of public safety, public order, and community wellbeing. As a result, there comes an increase in sensitivity to the overall quality of life or the standard of health, security, contentment, and happiness at both the individual and communal level when crime and violence is random. The decrease in quality of life can have effects beyond the social at the individual and communal level, to the organizational at the institutional level, and to the economic at the local, regional, state, and national level. For example, the increased rate in homicides, especially those in more public settings, can impact the willingness to shop at retail stores and shopping districts. The decrease in revenue impacts local taxes and local governments, with negative rippling effects for the provision of needed financial and human services that support and sustain policing efforts that are effective. Inadequate or insufficient resources exacerbates ‘the great resignation’ attrition rates for officers and create real hurdles in recruiting and replacing needed police personnel.”
– Brian N. Williams, Ph.D. – Associate Professor The University of Virginia

The full report can be viewed online here.

Photo via Pixabay

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