Robert McClendon of has a piece on New Orleans crime and how it has changed since the advent of NOLA for Life. That got me looking at how overall crime trends have changed since 2010 (the year before the program began) and it’s not exactly a rosy picture.

Murder is down, and the murder change in the table below actually hides what has been the city’s biggest anti-crime success in the last five years. 2015 was the city’s worst year for murders since 2012 and 2010 was much better than both 2011 (199 murders) and 2012 (193 murders). This year is on pace for around 135 murders which, if realized, would give the city a four year average of 150 murders, 20 percent below the three year average from 2010 to 2012.

The other oddity is the change in rape, but that likely reflects a change in FBI reporting requirements that came into effect in 2014 and have led to increases in official rapes reported nationwide. In addition, NOPD’s sex crimes unit had a crisis in late 2014 which has led to changes in how they report such crimes and is also likely contributing to the higher rape number.

Change in New Orleans crime 2010 – 2015. Source: NOPD.

I calculated dispatch time using the city’s Calls for Service data and the 2015 population estimate came from The Data Center. The 2010 manpower number is what the NOPD reported to the FBI that year.

One thing to remember when looking at these numbers is that response times deflated 2015 crime statistics in general and property crimes specifically. Better response times probably would have produced a lot more property crime though there’s no real way to say for sure exactly how many (yet, more on that later!)

Just for “fun” I took a look at how crime has changed in Baton Rouge since 2010. Everything but rape is down and that may be due to the FBI. Good work, Baton Rouge!

Change in Baton Rouge crime 2010 – 2015. Source: BRPD