Violent crime continued to increase in the first six months of this year, highlighted by a growing trend of teenagers shooting robbery victims even if they surrender their valuables. That was the message from Wednesday’s National Violent Crime Summit, at which 170 police chiefs, mayors and other government officials compared local crime statistics that they have not yet shared with the FBI. The conclusion: Preliminary data released by the FBI in June – which showed violent crime rising slightly in 2005 after five years of decline – were no fluke, reports USA Today.
Philadelphia saw a 14% increase in robberies compared with the first six months of 2005, PERF reported. In the same period, Atlanta had 26% more assaults. Summit participants said the crimes they are seeing contain new elements. Robbers, especially juveniles, are more likely than ever to shoot victims, even when they do not resist. “There’s almost a different code on the street, that it’s not a robbery unless you shoot somebody,” said Thomas Streicher, police chief in Cincinnati. In Boston, a study by the police department and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government found that 33% of the city’s gun crimes were committed in 10 locations, mostly public housing projects where minorities live.