Philly Announces Big Violent Crime Reduction in 2023 – Property Crimes Spike

By The Vanguard Staff

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Violent crime is down overall about seven percent—homicides down about 21 percent and non-fatal shootings 28 percent—in  Philadelphia in 2023, according to the city, which claims it could be an all-time record.

But the Interim Commissioner John Stanford said, “I don’t think anybody would have expected us to be this far down,” crediting the decrease in violent crime to several factors, including “emerging out of the pandemic and a calming in civil unrest,” according to a WPVI interview.

The commissioner acknowledged “increased policing of four districts in and around North Philadelphia which began in late 2022.”

“I think being able to redeploy personnel,” Stanford said in the WPVI interview, adding, “We pulled people out of administrative positions, put them out on the street, every class that came out of police academy in 2023 were sent out to those four core districts. 

“This may be the largest one-year drop in the history of this city as it relates to homicides,” Stanford added, noting it follows two years with of 500 homicides each.

However, Stanford also said he is concerned that, while shootings are down, gun confiscations are up.

Stanford also added, however, some property crimes have exploded—retail theft is up 28 percent, and reports of stolen vehicles up 72 percent.

District Attorney Larry Krasner blamed much of the increase in stolen vehicles on flaws in some cars that make them easier to steal, he said in an interview.

“Thank you, Mr. Hyundai. Thank you, Mr. Kia. It would be nice if you made a car children couldn’t steal, but that’s what is happening there,” said Krasner.

Krasner, who has been criticized in some quarters of not confronting retail theft crimes, said he will focus on prosecuting retail theft rings in 2024.

Asked during the WPVI interview if he had done enough, Krasner quipped, “I think more needs to be done all the time. And we’ve been working closely with the new challenges of retail theft. These are challenges that were not there before.”

Both Krasner and Stanford both said they were happy about the violent crimes statistics, but cited the work ahead in 2024. 

“The numbers are what they are, but they are just statistics,” said Stanford. “If people don’t feel safe in this city, then those numbers mean nothing.”

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