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Surge in Indianapolis crime follows trend of other Midwest cities, IU professor says

Surge in Indianapolis crime follows trend of other Midwest cities, IU professor says

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In the first two months of this year, more than 35 people have been killed in the city. It seems especially over the last month the city has seen a surge in homicides.

Is this record-breaking? Or is this normal?

According to Natalie Hipple, an associate professor at Indiana University who has been researching gun violence for the last 15 years, more recently with a focus in Indianapolis, there is typically a crime pattern.

She says it is not uncommon to see a rise in violent crime only for it to be followed by a more quiet period where the city will see much lower numbers in homicides, or even a stretch without any at all.

At the rate crime has been happening so far this year, Hipple anticipates that the total 2020 homicides number won’t be far from the 2019 total.

However, Indianapolis as a whole is trending very similarly to other major cities in the Midwest.

Long-term, Indianapolis has seen a slow and steady increase in crime. While that is not good news, based on her research, Hipple has not seen a large spike at any point in the last 10 years.

“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,” said Hipple. “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.”

Some areas of the city have started to see improvement in terms of violent crime and homicides, while other areas continue to rack up one murder after another.

City leaders have recently introduced new initiatives and strategies to cut down on violent crime.

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