Murders in Dallas Up 17% Over Last Year — Could Be Why People Are Buying North?

Major cities, including Dallas, have a problem: murder rates are up in more than 35 major cities, when compared to a year ago.  After years of declines — as I recall, the murder rate was horrendously high in the late ’80s and early ’90s, the years of crack-cocaine, pinnacling in 1993 when more than 2,200 murders were counted in New York City  — it’s creeping up again. And it’s not just murder rates that’s up, it’s violence:

More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ago. In New Orleans, 120 people had been killed by late August, compared with 98 during the same period a year earlier. In Baltimore, homicides had hit 215, up from 138 at the same point in 2014. In Washington, the toll was 105, compared with 73 people a year ago. And in St. Louis, 136 people had been killed this year, a 60 percent rise from the 85 murders the city had by the same time last year.

Law enforcement experts say disparate factors are at play in different cities, though no one is claiming to know for sure why murder rates are climbing. Some officials say intense national scrutiny of the use of force by the police has made officers less aggressive and emboldened criminals, though many experts dispute that theory.

In Dallas, our murders are up 17% over last year. That’s not as bad as Milwaukee, where murder is up a whopping 76%, but worse than New York City, whose rate is “only” up 9%. Houston’s murder rate was up 44% in July —

In the first six months of 2015, the murder rate has increased compared to the first six months of 2014, according to crime statistics released by the Houston Police Department.

Police said this is a 44 percent increase from last year.

“Murders were up 58 percent for the first three months of the year, so the number is trending down the last three months,” HPD said in a statement.

You might have a greater chance of getting killed in Houston, but hey, violent crime rates are down.

Why is this happening, with our Concealed Handgun licenses and all? Is it because we seem to be respecting police officers less? Drugs?

Law enforcement experts say disparate factors are at play in different cities, though no one is claiming to know for sure why murder rates are climbing. Some officials say intense national scrutiny of the use of force by the police has made officers less aggressive and emboldened criminals, though many experts dispute that theory.

Rivalries among organized street gangs, often over drug turf, and the availability of guns are cited as major factors in some cities, including Chicago. But more commonly, many top police officials say they are seeing a growing willingness among disenchanted young men in poor neighborhoods to use violence to settle ordinary disputes.

Last night, I left Bed, Bath & Beyond on Park Lane at 9:15 p.m. The officer on duty said to me, be safe.

“You, too,” I replied.

How does this affect real estate?

Well, for one it could account for the continuing push to the north, where consumer perceive more security as well as better schools. Experts say the best deterrent to crime is to have lots of people out on the streets in West Village-like urban developments, living, walking, working, dining. (Listen up, folks at Inwood and Forest.) And as I write this, I hear of yet another police officer being shot in Lake County, Illinois, which is one of the serene counties circling Chicago. Where folks might perceive they are safe. What’s wrong, people?

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