Summer crime in DC down ‘significantly,’ officials say

WASHINGTON — Crime numbers have been consistently lower this year in the nation’s capital, and the summer season was no exception, according to law enforcement officials who spoke at a D.C. Council hearing Wednesday.

“Crime is down significantly,” said Kevin Donahue, the city’s deputy mayor for public safety and justice. “Violent crime in particular is down 25 percent.”

Police records show that, when compared to the same time in 2016, robberies were down 30 percent; assaults with a dangerous weapon were down 20 percent; and homicides were down 12 percent.

“In every police district, robberies are down significantly ranging from a 46 percent reduction in the fifth district, to a 3 percent reduction in the second district,” Donahue said.

Donahue spoke alongside Police Chief Peter Newsham, addressing members of the Public Safety Committee.

One of the main issues highlighted in the hearing was an annual program put in place over the summer that directs extra resources to neighborhoods that tend to struggle with higher crime numbers during the warmer months.

The program was successful, officials said, with five neighborhoods seeing an overall 38 percent reduction in violent crime between May and the end of August.

“We utilize technology, and a big piece of what we do is we conduct outreach with the youth,” Newsham said. “Reducing violent crime requires a focus on illegal fire arms and removing them from the streets, and also a particular focus on robberies.”

Newsham said members of the community have been helpful with various investigations.

“People have been overwhelmingly supportive in assisting,” he said. “They’re giving us tips and we’re able to hold these people accountable for their actions.”

The lower crime numbers were touted just hours after a violent night in the District.

Police officials said there were several separate shootings late Tuesday night. Three people were killed as a result.

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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