The number of homicides seen in Fort Worth rose in the first six months of 2016, although overall crime is down, according to new figures.
The Star-Telegram noted sharp increases in arrests for gambling and prostitution and an increase in the homicide rate in the first six months of the year.
The rise in homicides is consistent with a national spike.
Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald reported the figures in a midyear report to the City Council. He told members that overall crime in Fort Worth fell 2.4 percent compared to 2015 in the first six months of this year. Police say 35,358 overall offenses were reported, compared with 36,231 offenses reported in the first six months of 2015.
Violent crime makes headlines and the rise in offenses such as homicides was noted in the wake of the report.
Fort Worth saw 35 homicides in the first six months of 2016, up seven cases compared to the first six months of the previous year. Seven of the killings were domestic-related
Fitzgerald has made operational changes. He’s put greater emphasis on community policing and addressed the concerns of residents over prostitution and game rooms. Nevertheless, these offenses have continued to rise year-on-year.
FBI data released in September pointed to the biggest homicides rise since 1971. Killings in the United States rose 10.8 percent last year. It was the biggest single-year percentage jump in the murder rate since 1971, according to data released by the FBI.
The Guardian reported that this rising tide of violence in U.S. cities was driven by a rise in the murders of African American men. Gun violence is also up. At least 900 more black men were killed in 2015 than the previous year, according to FBI data.
Figures for 2016 are not available but there is evidence the homicide rate has continued to rise in U.S. cities. Already Dallas has reported a large increase.
There were about 1,500 additional firearm murders last year. The number of killings carried out by weapons other than firearms remained constant and the number of knife murders dropped slightly.
The proportion of murders committed with firearms increased to 71.5 percent.
Despite the sharp increase, the national murder rate remains about half what it was in 1991, the year a violent crime wave experienced in the 1980s came to a head.
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