Reports to police in all four major categories of violent crime declined in the first half of 2023 compared with the similar period last year in a survey answered by 69 large police departments, reports the Major Cities Chiefs Association. The agencies said there were 3,877 reported homicides in the period this year, compared with 4,348 last year. Reported rapes were down from 15,716 to 14,563. Robberies showed a decline from 51,942 to 49,298, and aggravated assaults dropped from 138,601 to 133,459.
Among the largest cities, Houston reported a particularly large decline in homicides, from 240 to 180. Among big cities reporting homicide increases were Kansas City, from 73 to 100, and Memphis, from 116 to 157. While the national robbery total was down slightly, the numbers in several cities were up this year, including Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Oakland. Expert caution against making definitive conclusions about crime trends based on short-term data, but the numbers generally indicate declines after increases during 2020, the first year of the COVID pandemic.