A smaller population in New Orleans helped cut crime 68 percent in the city during the last three months of 2005 compared with the same period in 2004, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Nine killings took place in October, November and December 2005, compared with 64 the city had logged during the same time period of 2004. Violent crimes overall were down 89 percent, and nonviolent crimes 64 percent.
Police Superintendent Warren Riley warned that the drastic lull in crimes will inch up as the city’s population returns. “Obviously, our population was very low at that time (just after Katrina),” Riley said. “It’s just common sense: As people return to the city, there will be more crime.” Before Katrina, there were as many as 25 crime “hot spots” across the city. Today, there are about six that police have identified, isolated and are patrolling constantly. Police said they have already arrested several high-profile criminals who tried to return and resume their activities.