They released the official stats for the first quarter of 2007 (Jan-Mar). Then they compare those stats to the first quarter of 2006 with an asterisk:
The population in the City of New Orleans was significantly reduced during the first quarter of 2006 as compared to the population of the City during the first quarter of 2007.I don’t think the comparison with the same time period last year is important. But they are useful for watching trends.
The NOPD murder totals are the same as mine, except they count one less in February and one more in March. Aaron Allen was shot on February 27, but died later in March.
At the Crime Prevention Roundtable II, Chief Riley told the audience the statistics would be released this week and added:
“And one thing that we have made some progress in, but we still certainly have a long way to go, is that you will see that our murder rate has dropped by 8.75%.”I am not sure what his comparison is to say that.
What I do know is that August has been a violent month. Today is 15 days into August, and we have had 11 murders this month. In fact, we have had 11 murders in the last 11 days.
We certainly do have a long way to go.
Mayor Nagin told that same audience at the Crime Prevention Roundtable II:
I know one murder is way too many. We are going to continue to try to bring this city to a zero point. But, just to give you an indication of the trends, this past July – which July historically has been our most violent month as relates to crime – this past July, we recorded 14 murders. Four of those murders were carryovers from somebody being shot in a previous month. Compare that to one year earlier, and there were 23 murders.Well, that was July. The month before, June, had 19 murders by my count, the highest of any month this year. And now we have August.
So, as you can see, we are starting to see some trends. And we’re not happy with it. But we’re starting to see some trends that suggest things that we put in place are starting to have some impact.
Here are the murder trends by quarter:
2006 3rd Quarter (Jul-Sep): 53The 2006 stats are NOPD. The 2007 stats are mine.
2006 4th Quarter (Oct-Dec): 52
2007 1st Quarter: 48
2007 2nd Quarter: 49
2007 3rd Quarter (Jul-Aug 15): 25
We have had an average of 50.5 murders per full quarter since Jul 2006. As the population rises, the murder totals are staying the same. That is good in the sense that the murder rate goes down.
But, we are hovering around 50 murders per quarter (three months) and we have steadily averaged a murder every other day, even with more people moving back.
One possible explanation is that the new population is moving into the safer areas. That would mean the crime hot spots are just as dangerous as they have always been. If that were true, then our murder totals will stay around these numbers, even though our murder rate will go down.
Also, we now know where murders happen and where they don’t. This would support the assertion that the safer areas are remaining safe, as it regards to murder, as the crime hot spots are staying hot.
Solutions? Better and more effective policing strategies (problem-oriented policing), a city which provides functioning social and municipal services (health care, education, electricity, water, maintained streets, flood drainage, doesn't wrongly demolish your house), and a community that values every life as equal from birth to death.
Simple as that.