Commissioner Ramsey: Philadelphia crime down overall in 2013

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says crime in every major category, from murder to car thefts, was down in 2013.
January 3, 2014 5:12:21 PM PST
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says crime in every major category, from murder to car thefts, was down in 2013.

"We've had some significant decreases in crime across the board," said Commissioner Ramsey.

He says murder, for example, is down over 25 percent last year from the year before.

It's down more than 36 percent, according to the FBI, from the time Commissioner Ramsey took over the Philadelphia police force in 2008.

Much of it, Commissioner Ramsey attributes to focusing on Friday and Saturday nights.

Also, police have been following the crime stats and targeting those troubled neighborhoods.

"Each district captain had to identify a grid - a hot spot in their district and come up with a strategy and plan for dealing with that," said Commissioner Ramsey.

Vehicle thefts are also down 50 percent in since 2007.

Rape under the old definition is down over 10 percent. However this year the federal government expanded the definition, the first change in the sex crime category in a half century.

"It was broadened to include sexual assault that previously was called part 2 crimes, less serious offenses," said Commissioner Ramsey.

How to Philadelphians feel about the news?

"It's just comfortable that I can get out if I chose to and go to the store at 8:00 pm. or 9:00 p.m. when it's dark and nothing happens," said Michelle Smith, of Southwest Philadelphia.

"A few nights ago I had a friend who was mugged for like $4, a few blocks from where I live," said Joe Vanleusden, of North Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Ramsey says his war against police corruption continues. He says pockets of it still exist and he remains determined to "fix it."


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