Violent crimes are on the rise in six of America's major cities and set to outpace the already historic levels of 2021 violent crime.
Baltimore, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta, and New York City are all on pace to break their 2021 levels of violent crime halfway through this year, with the nation's largest city leading the group, according to crime data reviewed by Fox News. New York City has seen a 25.8% jump in violent crime at this point in 2022 compared to the same time in 2021, despite seeing a small decrease in the amount of homicides recorded in the city.
Violent crime, which is typically defined as homicide, rape, assault, and robbery, had already been on the rise since 2020. Homicides have been one of the factors driving up rates of violent crime, rising 30% from 2019 to 2020 and another 5% between 2020 and 2021.
The nation's capital has seen violent crime continue to rise in 2022 as well, recording a 12% increase in such incidents compared to 2021 at the halfway point of this year. Los Angeles came in next with an 8.6% increase so far this year, while Philadelphia and Baltimore have recorded increases in violent crime of 7% and 6.1% respectively. Atlanta rounded out the group of six, seeing a violent crime increase of 5.5% compared to this time last year.
Fox News Digital also attempted to evaluate violent crime in other cities such as St. Louis, Houston, and San Antonio but was unable to find up-to-date data in those cities.
Experts have continued to debate factors that contributed to the crime surge in recent years, pinning the blame on pandemic restrictions, a lack of policing during times of increased crime, and widespread protests led by the Black Lives Matter movement that have called for the defunding of police departments.
"Violent-crime increase—call it Ferguson Effect 2.0 or the Minneapolis Effect— has come on with a speed and magnitude that make Ferguson 1.0 seem tranquil," the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald said during 2020's crime wave. "George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May was justly condemned — but the event has now spurred an outpouring of contempt against the pillars of law and order that has no precedent in American history."
The surge in violent crime has also been a politically challenging topic for the White House, with President Joe Biden encouraging localities to use American Rescue Plan funds to beef up police departments ahead of what is expected to be a summer crime wave.
"Use these funds we made available to you to prioritize public safety," Biden said last month. "Do it quickly, before the summer, when crime rates typically surge. Taking action today is going to save lives tomorrow. So, use the money. Hire the police officers. Build up your emergency response systems. Invest in proven solutions."