Homicides and robberies are continuing to increase in dozens of cities, says a Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) report quoted by USA Today. A review of about 55 cities’ crime data from the first six months of this year says homicides rose by 4.2 percent compared with the same period in 2005. Robberies rose nearly 10 percent and that aggravated assaults were up slightly. The cities reporting were among those that sent representatives to a crime “summit” sponsored by PERF in August. The draft report is available at www.policeforum.org. The police executives’ group has been among those pressing for more federal police funding to help counter rising numbers of violent incidents involving gangs and drugs.
PERF director Chuck Wexler said the report is an “early warning” that many cities could be at “the front end of a tipping point of violent crime.” Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty has said it is too soon to tell whether the increases are a significant departure from the historically low crime rates of the past decade. Of the cities surveyed by the police group, 19 had double-digit percentage increases in homicides. More than 40 cities reported jumps in robberies. Homicides dropped in some cities, including Dallas, Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Norfolk, and Washington, D.C.