Baltimore Homicide Clearance Rate Falls in “Stop Snitching” Culture


As Baltimore’s killings have piled up throughout the spring, many have remained unsolved — leaving city police with their lowest clearance rate in years, reports the Baltimore Sun. The declining arrest rate comes as detectives have had fewer homicides to investigate, with murders declining to a 30-year low. Baltimore’s murder rate is still one of the highest in the U.S.

So far this year, homicide detectives have a clearance rate of 42 percent, down from last year’s end-of-the-year figure of about 47 percent. Counting just this year’s murders, the clearance rate is just 26 percent. If that number holds, it would be the second-lowest figure on record as the percentage of cases closed has tumbled steadily over the years. Seventy-six percent of cases were solved from 1980 to 1989; by 2000 to 2008, that figure was 59 percent. The clearance rate nationally for cities of a similar size was 57 percent in 2010. The explanation for the declining rate is complex, but police have attributed it largely to an increasing unwillingness from the public to come forward with tips in today’s “Stop Snitching” culture.

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