Homicides, gun crimes up nearly 20 percent in D.C.

WASHINGTON — Homicides and gun crimes in Washington, D.C. are significantly higher than at this time last year, despite the city’s overall crime rate remaining flat.

There have been 78 murders in the city as of Thursday, 12 more than at that point in 2014. That’s an 18 percent increase, year-over-year.

Gun crimes are also higher in the District, with armed robberies up by 16 percent and assaults with a dangerous weapon involving a gun up 19 percent.

The increase is seen across the District, with only Wards 1, 4 and 7 not seeing an increase. And of those, only Ward 7 saw a decrease, down 33 percent from last year.

The biggest jump in murders by percentage was in Ward 3, which went from having no homicides in 2014 to having five. The biggest jump by count was in Ward 8, which has 27 murders so far this year, a 35 percent climb.

But while the District has seen an increase in these types of crimes, significant drops in sex abuse and burglaries have balanced the city’s crime figures. Those are each down about 18 percent.

The city has seen an overall increase in crime by a fraction of a percent. Violent crime is down 1.6 percent year-over-year.

Ward 7 has seen the biggest decline in crime so far this year, down 8 percent. Across the board, except for assaults with a deadly weapon involving a gun, crime is down in the easternmost ward. Wards 2 and 6 also saw declines of 5 percent and 3 percent respectively.

Ward 4 has seen the biggest increase overall so far this year, up 8 percent. Sex abuse is up 110 percent and armed robberies are up 81 percent. However, burglaries are down 46 percent and assaults with a deadly weapon not involving a gun are down by 28 percent.

Wards 3 and 5 also saw roughly 8 percent increases in crime. Burglaries, assaults with a deadly weapon and robberies were all down in Ward 8, but thefts, thefts from cars, and stolen vehicles were all up. In Ward 5, the opposite trend was true: assaults, robberies, and thefts were all up. Sex abuse was down by 35 percent.

At the current pace, the District could see 124 homicides this year, the most since the city saw 132 in 2010. That would still be fewer than every year between 1995 and 2010. D.C. saw 397 murders in 1996, the most over the past 20 years.

There’s been no word on what is causing the increase in homicides and gun crimes in the District.

Baltimore has seen a sharp increase in murders since the April riots. So far in this year, 178 people have been killed in Baltimore, with 34 of those deaths in July alone. There were 211 homicides in Baltimore in all of 2014.

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