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FBI report shows homicides in Phoenix increased by 52% this year

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PHOENIX – The latest report from the FBI show that homicides in Phoenix have increased by 52% this year.

According to the data, there have been 187 homicides in Phoenix reported for 2020 so far. Last year, 123 homicides were reported.

In 70% of the Phoenix homicide cases, the individual was the victim of someone armed with a firearm.

Nationally, murders are up by more than 20%. The numbers are higher in large cities across the country including an increase of 33% in New York City, 47% in Chicago and 30% in Los Angeles.

There has also been a dramatic rise in domestic violence related deaths as well.

Of the 187 homicides this year, 44 were domestic violence related. In 2019, there were 16 reported.

That means that Phoenix saw domestic violence related deaths increase 175% this year.

“There was a big need for us to be proactive about information that was going out to victims to understand the resources were available for them,” Sgt. Mercedes Fortune told KTAR News  92.3 FM on Tuesday.

“Just because there was a pandemic going on, we didn’t want victims to feel that they did not have anywhere to go if they needed to leave if they were in a violent relationship.”

Despite the increase in crime this year, homicide detectives have been able to find and arrest nearly three-quarters of the homicide suspects.

Fortune said the homicide clearance rate for the Phoenix Police Department is 72%, which is higher than the national Unified Crime Reporting murder and non-negligent manslaughter clearance rate of 61.4%.

Although violent crime has increased throughout the pandemic, other crimes have decreased. Rape is down 5.4%, burglaries are down 23% and thefts are down nearly 11%.

“I think it was a lot lower this year because more people were staying home and there was more teleworking,” Fortune said.

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