crime

Study: Homicide Rates Rose by 30% in Major U.S. Cities in 2020, Pandemic, Protests Likely Played a Role

Dallas was used as a sample city in five categories: gun assault, residential burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and drug offenses

NBC 5 News

The National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice has released its End of Year Update regarding the pandemic, social unrest, and crime in U.S. cities.

The report, which allows the public to get a look at how crime rates were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and protests in 2020, used cities across the country as samples in various categories.

Dallas was used as a sample city in five categories: gun assault, residential burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and drug offenses.

The report found that homicides increased by 30% compared to 2019. The historic increase represents 1,268 more deaths in the sample of 34 cities than the year before.

Homicides increased in nearly all of the 34 cities in the sample, according to the report.

The rates of aggravated assaults and gun assaults increased as well. According to the report, aggravated assaults increased by 6%, and gun assaults increased by 8%.

The authors of the report suggested that the increase in violent crime in communities like Dallas was linked to the suffering of disadvantaged groups during periods of protest and police misconduct.

According to the authors, these disadvantaged groups may have taken matters into their own hands during these times of social unrest, which could have led to more violence.

The report also found that in many cities including Dallas, the pandemic led to reduced face-to-face policing as officers were quarantined or subject to social distancing.

Findings regarding domestic violence were based on data from 12 cities, and they showed an increase during the early months of the pandemic.

Property and drug crime rates, with the exception of motor vehicle theft, fell significantly in 2020.

Robbery rates fell by 9%, residential burglary fell by 24%, nonresidential burglary fell by 7%, larceny fell by 16%, and drug offenses fell by 30%.

According to the authors of the report, these declined rates of property crimes and drug offenses were related to the pandemic. Residential burglary rates fell because more people spent time at home, and shoplifting decreased because more stores were closed, the report said.

Motor vehicle theft rose by 13%, according to the report.

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