12 US cities top previous homicide records over past year

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has seen more killings than since 1990

<p>At least a dozen police departments have reported higher homicide numbers this year</p>

At least a dozen police departments have reported higher homicide numbers this year

Twelve cities in the United States have topped previous records for homicides, a report has found, with as many as six beating records set last year.

The cities, including Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, were featured in an ABC News report on Wednesday about rising homicides incidents in the US.

It found that urban areas from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Rochester, New York, were all experiencing higher numbers of homicides in 2021.

St Paul, Minnesota; Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Louisville, Kentucky; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Indianapolis, Indiana, were the six areas with higher homicide rates than 2020, when records were also set.

Chicago, Illinois, had the highest number of homicides, by the end of November, or 793. That was however not a record breaker.

Many smaller and medium-sized cities however experienced higher rates of homicides than New York and Los Angeles, despite a smaller population.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for example, there were 521 homicides reported by last week. The city has a population of almost 1.5m people, and that record was last broken in 1990.

New York City and Los Angeles were also among the worst US cities for homicides, with 443 and 352 as of last week respectively, but did not break records. Former and current members of law enforcement told reporters that unrest following Covid, and a falling number of arresters, were at fault.

“Nobody’s getting arrested anymore,” said Robert Boyce, retired chief of detectives for the New York Police Department, of a reported 24 per cent fall in arrests last year.

“People are getting picked up for gun possession and they’re just let out over and over again.”

Capt Frank Umbrino, of the Rochester Police Department, meanwhile told reporters last month that “We’re extremely frustrated. It has to stop. I mean, it’s worse than a war zone around here lately.”

Another former member of law enforcement, Christopher Herrmann, told ABC News that in truth, the reason for rising homicide numbers was a confluence of factors.

As well as the 12 urban areas that have already broken records, a number of additional cities also approaching homicide records with three weeks before December ends.

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