world : Philadelphia Experiences Biggest Drop in Gun Violence Among Major U.S. Cities

Friday 14 June 2024 04:45 AM

Nafeza 2 world - June 13, 2024 9:32 PM EDT

Philadelphia has experienced the biggest drop in gun violence among major U.S. cities so far in 2024, according to a new report from a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) released Tuesday its analysis of Gun Violence Archive (GVA) data, which is an online archive of gun violence incidents gathered from more than 7,500 law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources each day. CAP analyzed “gun homicides and gun violence victimizations” data from 2019, 2021, 2023, and 2024 from Jan. 1 to April 30 (which CAP referred to as “year to date,” or “YTD”). CAP defined “gun violence victimizations” as all firearm-related injuries and deaths.

“Philadelphia has seen the most significant decline in population-adjusted gun violence victimizations YTD of the 50 most populous U.S. cities,” CAP said in its analysis. “As of the end of April 2024, Philadelphia experienced almost 16 fewer gun victimizations per 100,000 residents.”

CAP found that gun violence has dropped in most large U.S. cities. In addition to Philadelphia, Detroit; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Milwaukee; and Columbus, Ohio, saw at least 10 fewer victimizations per 100,000 residents YTD.

“Cities that are seeing the greatest public safety gains—such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston, which all have lower YTD rates of gun victimizations in 2024 compared with this same time in 2019—have committed to gun violence reduction strategies coordinated by their local offices of violence prevention and made significant investments in more holistic and long-term approaches to improving public safety,” CAP said in its analysis.

Philadelphia, for instance, formed an interagency task force after a 2020 increase in gun violence. The task force studied local gun violence data and looked at evidence-based practices the city could implement, CAP said. Using this work, the task force recommended supporting vulnerable community members, investing in community violence intervention models, and bolstering data tracking and gun violence reporting to better foster case resolution.

Read More: Gun Injuries to Children Have Soared. So Have Their Impacts

In general, gun homicides in the U.S. are down by 13.1%, and gun violence victimizations are down by 12.5%, compared to 2023. CAP pointed out that 2021 recorded the highest annual rate of gun violence since the early 1990s, but gun homicides in 2024 so far are down by 16.4%. CAP also said that since the beginning of 2022, gun homicides have been dropping nationally, and that there are no signs of that trend slowing down.

Even still, gun homicide rates are 16% higher than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CAP. As of April 30, 2024, the GVA recorded 5,043 total gun homicides; at the same time in 2019, the GVA recorded 4,333 total gun homicides, CAP said.

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