New partial-year crime data released yesterday by the Major Cities Chiefs Association does not back claims of a nationwide crime wave, say Brennan Center experts.
The group’s analysis includes data from 51 law enforcement agencies across the country, and covers the first six months of 2016. It found murder went up in 29 of the cities surveyed, while it decreased in 22. Three cities — Las Vegas, Orlando, and Chicago — account for two-thirds of the total increase in murders. The data excludes large cities like New York, where police have said murder is down this year.
“These local upticks cannot be ignored, but it’s irresponsible to draw long-term conclusions from six months of data,” said Ames Grawert, a counsel in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program. “Overall, crime rates still remain at historic lows across the country.”
From 2006 to 2014, murder dropped 22 percent according to national FBI data. The Bureau hasn’t released full-year data for 2015, but a Brennan Center study found the murder rate increased about 13 percent from 2014 to 2015. The uptick was driven largely by problems in Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
That study also found that from 2014 to 2015, crime dropped in two-thirds of cities analyzed. Overall crime has dropped 23 percent since 2006, according to a separate Center analysis released last month.
To talk to a Brennan Center expert on crime rates, contact Rebecca Autrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646–292–8316.