Philadelphia: 70% of residents view crime as city's main problem

Progressive prosecutor Larry Krasner says "there is no crime crisis." The number of murders in 2021 was the highest since 1960.

The sense of insecurity among Philadelphians is at its highest percentage since 2009. A Pew Center survey revealed that 70% of the city's residents view crime, drugs and public safety as their main concerns.

The figure is up 30% compared to 2020 when the feeling of insecurity was at 41%. In addition, only 44% of Philadelphians feel safe in their neighborhoods at night.

Crime crisis

The number of people who have been injured by gunfire is currently at 1,547 people of which 76% are black and 14% are Hispanic. According to Philadelphia Police Department data, there have been 2,729 shootings so far this year. That is, around 11 shootings per day. 75% of residents of the country's sixth largest city - with 1.6 million inhabitants - claim to have heard gunshots in their neighborhood in the last 12 months.

85% of citizens think that gun violence has worsened in the last three years. In addition, 61% of residents say the city needs more police officers, up from 45% in August 2020.

After crime, drugs and public safety, 14% of respondents cite poverty and homelessness as a concern.

Record numbers in 2021

Philadelphia had the highest per capita homicide rate among the nation's 10 largest cities in 2021. The number of murders last year broke a record from 1960, and recorded 562 murders in 2021. The city of brotherly love surpassed New York and Los Angeles, the two largest cities in the country, which recorded 479 and 352 homicides respectively.

Mayor Jim Kenney pledged to reduce violence by 2021: "There is no greater priority for our administration than reducing violence and creating safer communities and a more just city for all."

Progressive prosecutor Larry Krasner saw no problem with the city's crime situation: "No, we do not have a crime, violence or murder crisis in Philadelphia,” he reiterated last year upon learning of the 500+ homicides and at the same time assured that his strategies to prevent more murders were working.

According to official data, 355 homicides have been recorded in the city to date this year, a figure similar to that of the same period in 2021, most of them being from gunshot wounds.