District Attorney Larry Krasner said Monday that the city is not plagued by a crisis despite a record number of homicides in 2021.
Krasner insisted that while the city has seen a spike in gun violence, residents should not be worried about rising crime in general.
“We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness, we don’t have a crisis of crime, we don’t have a crisis of violence,” the district attorney told reporters at a Monday press conference. “It’s important that we don’t let this become mushy and bleed into the notion that there is some kind of big spike in crime. There isn’t. There is not a big spike in crime. … There is not a big spike in violent crime. Neither one of these things is true.”
Despite the fact that gun violence has gone “way up,” other indicators, “which usually go up and down with gun violence,” are staying “relatively flat,” Krasner said.
The Philadelphia Police Department has reported 521 homicides so far in 2021 – a 13% increase compared to 2020 and the city’s highest number of killings since at least 2007. Shooting incidents have increased 4.4%, and the number of shooting victims has risen about 3% over the last year.
The rate of total violent offenses in the city, however, is down about 3% year-over-year, with armed robberies – which have increased 27% since 2020 – being the only other violent crime besides homicide that has gone up in 2021. Rape, unarmed robberies and aggravated assaults have decreased since last year. Property crime has risen 5% year-over-year.
“We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness. We don’t have a crisis of crime. We don’t have a crisis of violence,” Krasner said, adding that people coming into the city “should not” be concerned about violent crime, he continued.