WASHINGTON (7News) — There were 203 homicides in Washington, D.C., in 2022, according to new statistics from Chief Robert Contee of the Metropolitan Police Department.
The figures are juxtaposed by a 7% decrease in overall crime over the same time period, Contee said, who also noted a 3% dip in property crimes compared to 2021.
"Last year, 203 people lost their lives to senseless violence in our city," Contee said, in part. "That’s 203 too many, period. Over and over, we see people turning to illegal guns to commit acts of violence. It is completely unacceptable, and it must stop now. Gun violence is an epidemic that is tearing life from our city. What’s left behind are the countless friends and family members whose lives have been forever changed."
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On Thursday, mere days before the year's end, the District recorded its 200th homicide.
According to the D.C. police union, 226 homicides took place in 2021, and 198 occurred in 2020, despite COVID lockdowns.
"This is the first time since 2002-2003 that DC has suffered back-to-back years with 200-plus homicides," the D.C. Police Union tweeted.
D.C. Police Union also noted that the annual homicide rate was below 100 in 2012, and was at 104 and 105 in 2013 and 2013, respectively.
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Read Contee's full statement below:
"Last year, 203 people lost their lives to senseless violence in our city. That’s 203 too many, period. Over and over, we see people turning to illegal guns to commit acts of violence. It is completely unacceptable, and it must stop now. Gun violence is an epidemic that is tearing life from our city. What’s left behind are the countless friends and family members whose lives have been forever changed.
Although one crime is too many, we saw an overall decrease in crime in 2022. Washington D.C. saw a 7% reduction in violent crimes and a 3% reduction in property crimes when compared to 2021. However, we know that those statistics do not bring comfort to the family members of the crime victims in 2022. It is up to all of us, as we start 2023, to do everything in our power to continue the downward trend of violence in the District of Columbia.
Our officers show up every day and work hard to prevent crime. MPD will not rest until we hold violent offenders accountable for choosing to cause harm in our communities. Our detectives are working tirelessly to investigate every crime and bring justice to the families of victims. Our officers continue to proactively take a record number of illegal guns off the street, at an average of eight to nine guns each day in 2022.
MPD continues to utilize an intelligence-led policing strategy, along with our local and federal partners, to target individuals that we know are committing acts of violence. The department is utilizing data-driven deployment strategies to supplement areas of the city that are experiencing higher volumes of criminal activity and emerging crime trends. We’re focused on community policing and building bridges in every neighborhood to stop violence from even occurring in the first place.
But our most powerful tool in combating violence in our neighborhoods and solving crimes is you — our community. We can’t do this alone. In every incident, someone knows something. It might seem like something small, but that information could be a piece of the puzzle that helps our detectives solve cases and bring justice to loved ones of victims.
We all have the opportunity to continue the downward trend of crime in our neighborhoods and hold people accountable.
Together, we can put an end to the violence in our communities."
The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of people responsible for homicides in the DC. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by sending a text message to 50411.
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