Crime in Pittsburgh dropped in most major categories last year, mirroring nationwide declines in both violent and property offenses, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Still, the local violent crime count was down only .5 percent. Both aggravated assaults and rapes increased in Pittsburgh. “It’s still a very vicious and violent society,” said Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson said. Pittsburgh police arrest about 600 people for possessing illegal firearms and recovered more than 1,000 guns, but those numbers haven’t changed much over the past five years.
The FBI reported 53 homicides in 2007, but the police counted 57. Donaldson said such discrepancies could be due to differences in the way the agencies classify certain crimes. One local leader declared that, “[Crime] is as high as ever, and we still have a long way to go.” Jay Donaldson, who is not related to the deputy chief, helped organize a group that will hold an anti-violence rally Saturday. Donaldson’s 18-year-old son, Jehru, was shot and killed in July.