With homicides down 15 percent and violent crime off 3 percent from last year, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey declared their anticrime initiatives a success despite falling short of lofty goals set in January, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The mayor and commissioner had hoped to reduce killings by 25 percent and violent crime by 20 percent. Said Nutter: “The bottom line is that major crime in Philadelphia is down. We’re not where we want to be, though, and we have much more work to do.”
So far, 332 people have been slain this year compared with 392 last year. The goal, Ramsey said, is to get the number below 300 for 2009 and to reduce homicides by 30 to 50 percent within three to five years. As of earlier this month rapes and aggravated assaults increased 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Property crime was up 1 percent. The numbers suggested Ramsey’s targeted approach to crime-fighting was having a positive effect. The commissioner had aimed extra resources at nine of the city’s most violent districts.