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Expert: Indianapolis violent crime trend not different from other Midwest cities

Expert: Indianapolis violent crime trend not different from other Midwest cities

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The National Gun Archive shows that there were 15,336 deaths from gun violence in 2019.

Photo courtesy: National Gun Archive

A map shows clusters of red dots to signify the areas with the highest amount of violent crime activity. Notice Indianapolis is one of the standouts.

According to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the total number of homicides for 2019 came in just 7 under the 2018 total.

“The national homicide rate per 100,000 people hovers around five people per 100,000. Indianapolis, Marion County, sits around 18 right now, 18 people per 100,000 so we are significantly above the national average,” said Indiana University associate professor Natalie Hipple.

Hipple has researched gun violence for the past 15 years, more recently with a focus in Indianapolis.

“We have so many more victims than we had incidents, which meant that we were having a lot of shootings where multiple people were shot at the same time,” Hipple said.

According to the most recent data from the FBI, the overall U.S. crime rate decreased by 6.5% from 2017-2018. They also say data supports that violent crime in the Midwest is down by 4.4% over that time period.

The nonprofit Everytown For Gun safety has Indiana ranked as the 19th highest for gun deaths in the U.S., with the rate of gun deaths in the state increasing by 35% from 2008-2017.

But, Hipple’s research shows, that jump didn’t happen over night. She says Indianapolis has been on a slow and steady increase for violent crime over the last decade.

“So, yeah, we are up but we are not different than any other city in the Midwest right now. That would concern me more if we were this kind of island out on our own where everybody else was trending downward and we were trending upward, then that would give me some pause,” Hipple said.

Some cities are seeing some more significant change over a shorter period of time. From 2017-2018, the FBI says Baltimore’s murder rate declined 9%, Chicago declined 14%, Washington’s murder rate increased by 36% and Philadelphia’s increased 10%.

The FBI has only released preliminary reports of the 2019 data for crime. They are expected to release a more in-depth report later in the year.

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