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7News wants to know: How do we reduce violent crime in Washington, DC?

The Metropolitan Police Department on the scene of two shootings in Southeast D.C. (7News)
The Metropolitan Police Department on the scene of two shootings in Southeast D.C. (7News)
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Violent crime in Washington, D.C. is on the rise. Murders, incidents of sex abuse, thefts and motor vehicle thefts are all increasing.

So how does the District reduce violent crime? I-Team Investigator Scott Taylor is asking that especially important question to District leaders.

7News has learned that your chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime or property crime in Washington DC is one in seventeen.

So says Neighborhood Scout, a website that tracks crime.

7News wants to know how do we reduce violent crime in Washington, DC? We posed that single, life-saving question to city leaders.

It is no secret that violent crime this year in the month of May in DC compared to the same time last year has increased by 10%.

District Crime Data at a Glance

"We have talked a lot about our strategy to reduce crime and the focus on getting guns off the street and holding people accountable for using guns and our whole system really being responsive to areas in our city and people in our city who are prone to violence,” says Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Mayor Bowser, MPD unveil new police strategy amid rise in crime in DC

Homicides are up 12%. Sex abuse incidents up 53%. Motor Vehicle Thefts are up a whopping 110%.

"The first thing that needs to happen is the Police Department needs to be properly staffed. We have lost over twelve-hundred police officers in the past three years. We have only replaced about seven. We are down about five hundred cops right now,” adds DC Police Union President Gregg Pemberton.

The most recent FBI data reveals DC has one of the highest crime rates in America... overall crime is up 27% this year.

You have a one in seventy-five chance to be a victim of rape, murder, armed robbery, and aggravated assault. We also have one of the higher murder rates in the nation compared to all cities across the nation.

Last year 203 murders in DC. So far this year 76. Twelve percent more than 2022.

"For us to be able to respond properly, to have the right number of officers, to be able to investigate these cases and follow up leads and actual arrest the culprits we have to have the proper number of police officers and the way to do that is to get the City Council to roll back a lot of these anti-provisions that they have passed over the past three years,” says Pemberton.

Washington DC has a crime rate that is noticeably lower than the average compared to other communities of comparable size, but it still ranks in the top one hundred most dangerous cities.

NeighborhoodScout Most Dangerous Cities – 2023

You still have a one in twenty-one chance of being a victim of motor vehicle theft, arson, larceny, or burglary.

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"Preventing or intervening in crime. Supporting our first responders and police. Making sure people are held accountable and we are improving accountability. Disrupting and ending cycles of violence and filling additional gaps and strengthening our collaborations among our government partners,” says DC Councilmember Brooke Pinto.

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