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Philadelphia Sees Drop In Violent Crime, Leaders Call For More Effort

The Philadelphia District Attorney's office announced new murder and attempted murder charges against eight members of criminal groups operating in North Philadelphia. The charges are related to at least four homicides and multiple shootings that occurred in 2021 and 2022. "BNG is history. They're done," District Attorney Larry Krasner said, referring to the "Big Naddy Gang," CBS News reports. "BNG sought money, vehicles, but above all, they sought notoriety. They wanted a reputation for being violent and dangerous," Assistant District Attorney Joe Lanuti said. Krasner said those charged were members of the so-called "Big Naddy Gang" and "Zoo Gang," which operate in an area that Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel called one of the most violent areas of the city. "On average, you're looking at a district that almost sees 50 homicides each year and over 200 shootings in a 4.5 square mile area," Bethel said.

This is also one of several areas in the city Bethel says the police department has focused on as part of their strategy to drive down violent crime. Data from the Philadelphia Police Department shows 109 homicides so far in 2024. And city leaders believe they're seeing results. Data from the Philadelphia Police Department shows 109 homicides counted so far in 2024, a 38% drop from this time last year, and the lowest total for this point in the year since 2016. Shooting incidents are down 37% year-over-year, according to police, and shooting victims have dropped nearly 45%. "We're happy with the direction we're going, but it's very early in the process," Bethel said. While homicide numbers have steadily trended down since a peak of 562 in 2021, the city has seen more than 400 murders every year since 2020. If current numbers hold, the city would break that streak. And while these numbers are showing improvement, questions remain about whether Philadelphians are feeling these impacts. Bethel acknowledged it will take time for this impact to show, and that the department needs to stay consistent in its efforts for more than just six months.


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