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October 16, 2023

Violent crime in U.S., overall, dipped in 2022 despite rise in hate crimes, carjackings

Philadelphia follows that trend but, notably, the number of killings in the city remain at pre-pandemic levels

Violent crime continues to decline nationally, reaching its lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a new report from federal law enforcement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released its annual Crime in the Nation report on Monday, detailing criminal trends from 2022. Overall, violent crimes dropped by 1.7%, with murder and non-negligent manslaughter decreasing by 6.1% and rape by 5.4%.

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Carjackings, which are generally charged as robberies, have steadily risen over the past three years, climbing by 8.1% Reported hate crime incidents also increased by about 7% in 2022. Intimidation was the most common hate crime recorded, followed by simple assault and vandalism.

Violent crimes occurred at a rate of 380.7 incidents per 100,000 people last year, the lowest rate observed since 2019.

Other types of crime, however, increased. Motor vehicle thefts ticked up by 10.9%, part of an overall 7.1% increase in property crimes.

The national findings line up with trends observed in Philadelphia — to a certain extent. The number of killings spiked citywide after the onset of the pandemic, hitting a peak of 562 in 2021. Despite an 8% decrease last year, Philly does not appear on track to return to pre-pandemic homicide levels. As of Oct. 15, the city has recorded 344 homicides this year, which is just below the 353 observed in 2019. With several weeks left in the year, that number is likely to grow.

The latest Philadelphia police report shows decreases in rape and robbery compared to this point in 2022. Car thefts, however, have jumped by more than 100%. The dramatic surge in this particular crime has been largely attributed to TikToks demonstrating how to break into recent Kia and Hyundai models, which lack a common anti-theft feature in their ignitions. 

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