Philly.com reports that serious crime in Philadelphia fell last year to levels unseen in decades, according to the city police.
There were fewer violent crimes than in any other year since 1979, the fewest number of property crimes since 1971, and the fewest number of robberies since 1969.
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The numbers of burglaries were the lowest on record, and although homicides decreased only slightly compared with 2015, they remained below 300 – once considered a low-end benchmark for Philadelphia – for the fourth consecutive year.
Commissioner Richard Ross on Wednesday described the results as a step in the right direction but said police would continue seeking to drive the numbers lower.
The commissioner and criminologists said the decrease was likely driven by a variety of factors, such as increased use of technology in fighting crime, continuing successful deployment and patrol strategies.
Year-end statistics provided by the department showed that violent crime – which includes homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault – was down about 5 percent in 2016 compared with 2015. The total number of violent crimes was 15,385, the numbers show, the lowest total since 1979, when there were 14,537.
Homicides were 273 in 2016, 7 lower than the previous year.
Our sources tell us that the reduction in crime is coming from a few sources but mainly in two areas. Commissioner Ross has displayed excellent leadership and knows that to reduce crime, specifically violent crime, police need to be deployed to those areas and given the support to take action. We are told that the Commissioner does that but more importantly, this reduction could not have occurred without one additional aspect.
We believe it is the most important. The cops on the street made this happen and for that we sincerely thank you.