DC Violent Crime Rate
Let’s take a look at the annual crime rate of four key types of violent crime reported by Metro PD: homicides, sex crimes, assaults with a deadly weapon and burglaries. Since we’re only halfway through 2015, the charts below only consider crimes reported between January and August of each calendar year (rather than the entire calendar year). The number of homicides is up since hitting a recent annual low in 2012. Other violent crimes, however, are down so far in 2015. Let’s take a closer look at the homicide rate.
Figure 1. DC Violent Crime Incidents by Year (January to August of Every Year)
DC Homicide Rate
Figure 2 below shows the monthly homicide rate from January 2011 to August 2015 (the last month in 2015 for which a full month of data is available). The number of homicides seems to have increased in 2015. However, it’s difficult to get a sense for the overall trend given the volatility in the number of homicides in any given month (not surprising given the low number of data points).
Figure 2. Monthly Homicide Rate (January 2011 to August 2015)
We can smooth out the month-to-month variability by calculating the monthly rate on a 3-month rolling average basis (Figure 3 below). It is clear that DC’s homicide rate has surged in 2015 compared to the period from 2011 to 2014, and the increase hasn’t been a one-off monthly increase but a sustained multi-month jump that shows no sign of letting up. The monthly homicide rate has jumped from about eight per month on average from 2011-2014 to about 12 per month on average so far in 2015 (from January to August), and to 17 per month as of today (August 2015).