Philadelphia’s Homicide Rate Has Gone Down Even Further

Plus, digital beach tags are finally here.

The scene on South Street in Philadelphia after a mass shooting in 2022, back when the Philadelphia homicide rate was soaring

The scene on South Street in Philadelphia after a mass shooting in 2022, back when the Philadelphia homicide rate was soaring (Getty Images)

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Philadelphia’s Homicide Rate Has Gone Down Even Further

A few months back, my editor asked me to contribute a piece on crime trends in the city to our April 2024 cover story, “An Optimist’s Guide to Philadelphia.” My contribution, “Yes, Philadelphia Is Safer Than They Say on TV,” lamented how Philly’s reputation as a horribly dangerous place has lingered — thanks, in part, to the Steve Keeley Effect — despite evidence that the situation in Philadelphia was getting better.

But I have to admit that as I sat there and wrote about how Philadelphia had seen 34 percent fewer homicides than we’d seen during the same time period last year, I had this ominous feeling in the back of my head that this number was going to quickly change for the worse. See, the Steve Keeley Effect has infiltrated my pysche, too!

Well, here it is the beginning of July. And that number has changed. But not for the worse. As of press time, Philadelphia has had 130 homicides this year, which is, of course, 130 too many. But that’s a 39-percent reduction in homicides over this time last year. Compared to 2022? Down 50 percent. And compared to 2021? Down 52 percent. I could go on.

Other positive trends include robberies by gun and overall shooting victims, both of which are down by 42 percent. And remember the huge rash of stolen cars? Reports of stolen cars are now down 39 percent.

Haters gonna hate. But data is data.

More Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office Debacles

I’ve been following problems in the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office for a long, long time. So I wasn’t at all surprised to see this tale from the Inquirer about people who bought Philadelphia properties at sheriff sales last year and still haven’t received the deeds. We’ve been talking about abolishing the sheriff’s office for a good while now. Maybe it’s time to actually do it.

On the Way to Cape May This Weekend?

The idyllic Jersey Shore town just rolled out digital beach tags. It’s actually kind of amazing that it took this long for somebody to do this.

By the Numbers: The Hot In Here Edition

0: Days this weekend where high temperatures aren’t forecasted to hit 90 or above. Urgh. And I just convinced the family to turn off the air conditioners.

6: Additional public pools that have opened this week in the city. Just in time!

12: Years since Philly thermometers have hit 100. But something tells me it’s coming.

Local Talent

The headliners for our big Welcome America July 4th concert on the Parkway are Ne-Yo and Kesha. But don’t sleep on the opening act. Philly’s own DJ Diamond Kuts (a Nicki Minaj collaborator, who can be heard daily on Power 99 FM) is teaming up with the horny Philly band Snacktime (of “Fuck the PPA” fame) for a collaborative performance from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more on the Welcome America festivities (or what’s left of them), consult this handy guide. You missed Wawa Hoagie Day. But you did not miss The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldier’s Chorus with LeAnn Rimes.