The Washington, D.C., region saw a rise in homicides last year, reports the Washington Post. The capital had the largest share of area killings, with 194 in 2005, close to 2004’s total of 198. At the same time, the total in the neighboring Maryland county of Prince George’s climbed from 148 to 173. Nationally, homicides in large metropolitan counties are increasing, while cities the size of Washington are seeing a slight drop, according to the latest preliminary FBI crime data.
Experts believe that crime-prone populations in Washington moved to the suburban county in the last decade. The migration began in the early 1990s as people tried to escape the city’s high rate of violence. Others moved because the city knocked down several public housing buildings over the years, and the problems followed them. “When you have gentrification, there is another word that goes along with that: displacement,” said Andrew Karmen, a criminologist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. “People bring their problems with them where they settle.” That also happened in New York in the 1990s, when the city was wrestling with huge crime waves. Officials in Upstate New York, including those in Albany, Rochester and Buffalo, complained of having to deal with displaced criminals.