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Sun’s Out, Crime’s Up – Especially in the Metro

Posted July 22, 2021

Sun’s Out, Crime’s Up – Especially in the Metro

Last year, Atlanta’s homicide rate was up more than 58% over the previous year. In 2020, 157 people, including at least one one-year-old infant, were killed in the metro last year — the highest murder rate in two decades.

When summer arrives, images of kids in swimming pools, backyard barbecues and sunny days probably dominate your thinking. But this summer, parents, grandparents, teens and even young children are more likely to be staying inside. Not because of the waning pandemic, but because all types of violent crime are way up in Atlanta — homicides, assaults and, even, deadly road rage.

Coast-to-coast incidences of violent crime were unrelenting in 2020, making Atlanta just one of the country’s major cities where citizens began to feel more unsafe than ever before. That feeling was justified as America’s national murder rate for 2020 jumped by 25%. This escalation is the largest single-year increase since 1960. A troubling trend, the violence was not limited to urban areas. Smaller cities, towns and communities with populations as small as 10,000 were affected as well, experiencing a 30% increase in deadly incidents.

The longer days of summer have been linked to increased violence for decades as part of what law enforcement calls the “seasonal effect,” which begins with Memorial Day weekend. This predictable increase in violent crime continues through August. This summer will likely follow that deadly pattern. John Roman, a senior fellow at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago concurred, “Summer 2021 is going to be abnormally violent.”

 Homicides in Atlanta Jump 58%

Pandemic-related anxiety and outrage about police brutality were two factors contributing to this dramatic rise in Atlanta’s violent crime. In addition, economic hardship, de-policing, shifts in law enforcement resources from neighborhoods to downtown areas during last summer’s protests and the wholesale release of jailed criminal defendants to reduce COVID-19 risk added to the spike in metropolitan Atlanta’s homicide rate.

A steep decline in law enforcement activity from June 2020 through February 2021 preceded this rise in deadly crime. Following last summer’s protests, Atlanta’s police officers were left demoralized when public officials withdrew their support for law enforcement. Facing a greater probability of being sued, terminated or criminally prosecuted and seeing those they had arrested back on the streets in a day or two, Atlanta’s finest began to disengage. In all, 200 officers, detectives and investigators left the Atlanta Police Department (APD) last year. In August 2020 37 officers left the force , either retiring or resigning. That was the largest single-month defection of the year. One of those who left was an 18-year veteran of the force who was commended previously as Officer of the Year and Investigator of the Year. Even Atlanta’s Police Chief abandoned the city, leaving to take a similar leadership position in Louisville, Kentucky.

One Atlanta resident summed up the impact of the increased murder rate this way, “I’ve never been afraid to get gas or go to the grocery store before. Now, if it’s dark outside, I don’t go out.”

A 2nd Chance Bail Bonds remains at the ready to assist you and your clients around the clock – all summer long. We are in our offices every day to serve you personally, and we can also process bail bonds electronically.

 

 

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