DC’s soaring homicide rate also defied national trends showing a slight drop in murders. In spite of the fact that the number of total murders in all 32 cities dropped 1.2% in 2002 as compared to 2001, DC saw a nearly 13% increase in its murder rate in 2002, giving it the 6th-highest increase among the cities surveyed.
The study also cast doubt on another factor often used by DC officials to explain the city’s increasing crime rate: the demands of Homeland Security.
“We were surprised to find that New York had a 10% drop in homicides last year, as DC officials often blame the District’s increasing crime rate on the demands of post-September 11 security,” Aravosis said. “Yet New York, which surely faces as great a threat as Washington, has managed to improve its murder rate.”