Violence Rate Rate Up 4.2% in Big Cities, Survey Finds

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Violent crime rates in 21 large U.S. cities rose 4.2 percent last year over 2015, a higher rate than was projected at year’s end, says the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. In a survey, the center found that murder rates in reporting cities were up 13.1 percent, a bit lower than the center had estimated.

The violent crime increase was driven by Chicago, where violent crime reports rose 16.5 percent, and Baltimore, where they were up 18.6 percent.

Brennan sought data from the 30 largest cities, and obtained numbers from 21.

The survey found that Chicago accounted for 55.1 percent of the murder increase, higher than preliminary data had suggested. In 2015, Chicago along with Baltimore and Washington, D.C., accounted for 53.5 percent of the murder rise.

The center contended that, “Concerns about a national crime wave are premature, but these trends suggest a need to understand how and why murder is increasing in these cities.”

Among cities where murders increased were Austin, Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas, Louisville, Los Angeles, Memphis, San Antonio, and San Diego. Cities where data were unavailable included Indianapolis, Phoenix, and Portland, Or.

The Brennan Center has been surveying big cities and issuing reports more quickly than does the FBI, which typically reports in September for the preceding year.

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