Murder rate falling in Philadelphia

March 15, 2008 11:57:35 AM PDT
The number of homicides in Philadelphia continues to fall this year compared to a year ago. As of late Thursday, there were 56 murders in the city this year. During the comparable period last year, 78 people were killed.

That's a 28 percent decrease.

Police say the decline began last fall.

Chief of Detectives Keith Sadler says shootings are down as well.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey this year unveiled a crime-fighting strategy to reduce the homicide rate by 25 percent from last year, when 392 people were killed.

The plan puts a heavy emphasis on increasing police visibility and patrols.

Crime experts are cautious in explaining why rates rise or fall, saying the reasons are complicated and numerous factors are involved.