Several high–profile armed robberies in August and September brought awareness of that crime to the forefront of New Orleans’ attention. Some of the focus on armed robbery has waned in the few weeks, but reviewing citywide trends as of mid-November shows the depth of the city’s problems.
Overall gun violence in New Orleans is down in 2015, but the prevalence of armed robberies this year threatens the city’s progress against gun crimes. This challenge is highlighted by the fact that New Orleans is one of four cities nationwide with over 100,000 residents that has had an increase in robberies each year since 2010.
New Orleans is on pace for more than 100 armed robberies in November through the month’s first 11 days. This pace, if realized, would represent the fourth straight month with more than 90 armed robberies in New Orleans. For perspective, there were only four total months with over 90 armed robberies between January 2010 and July 2015, when this streak started.
December has averaged the most armed robberies by far since 2010, suggesting that if history is any guide, this problem is not going to get better anytime soon.
Within the category of armed robberies, a decidedly negative trend has been a substantial rise in carjackings since late 2013. There has been a 109 percent rise in carjacking totals from 2011 levels, contributing mightily to the overall rise in armed robberies in New Orleans.
The rise in carjackings largely accounts for the slight rise in armed robberies in 2015 relative to 2014. Both 2014 and 2015 saw large rises in both carjackings and non-carjacking armed robberies compared to the 2011 to 2013 period.
Time of Day and Geography
One interesting changing trend is a rise in armed robberies taking place earlier in the day. A plurality of armed robberies happen between 6 p.m. and midnight, but more and more are occurring before noon.
A final way of looking at armed robberies is to break them down geographically by NOPD district. This is accomplished in the table below, which estimates the 2015 total based on the pace of armed robberies as of the end of October.
As can be seen, armed robberies have fallen in the 6th District (Central City and adjoining neighborhoods) and the 8th District (French Quarter and Central Business District), but those losses have been offset by rises in the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th Districts.
This analysis shows that armed robberies have been steadily rising in the city. They rose by more than 37 percent from 2013 to 2014, and the city is on pace to see another 3 percent rise from 2014 to 2015 as of mid-November. It is essential to find effective solutions to reduce these crimes citywide and prevent another increase in 2016.
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This post was originally published by The New Orleans Advocate.