Overall crime in New Orleans was down almost 11 percent in the first three months of 2005 compared with the same time period last year, buy murders rose 18 percent, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “Homicide has always been a challenge,” said New Orleans police spokesman Capt. Marlon Defillo. He said the department is working with other law enforcement organizations including the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to spot and curb murder trends.
“Measures have been taken to curb the murder rate,” Defillo said. “But it’s bigger than the Police Department. It’s a social problem.” Though the streets seemed to be subtly more deadly this year, the percentage of reported rapes, armed robberies and auto thefts declined by double digits, police said.