Reviewing the most recent armed robbery trends in New Orleans recently led to the startling conclusion that New Orleans went four days without an armed robbery or carjacking from July 19 to 22. There was an armed robbery shortly after midnight on the 19th but I decided to count it in the July 18 total.
This has been a rare pseudo-achievement in the last five years. The last time the city went four days without an armed robbery or carjacking was October 2012 and before that it was January 2011.
Overall, armed robberies are down about 3 percent from 2015’s total here in late July. The below chart shows how the number of armed robberies in 2016 compares to the same period in 2015. This year has been mostly lower than last year ranging from about even to nearly 10 percent lower.
There are two important caveats to remember before you feel good about the current armed robbery trend. First, these crimes are far, far more prevalent today than in 2011 to 2013 even with a small reduction in armed robberies in 2016. New Orleans averaged 39 percent more armed robberies in 2014 and 2015 than in 2011 to 2013.
The second caveat is that armed robberies tend to increase in the fourth quarter of the year, so the story of 2016 won’t be told for a few months. Armed robberies were down 2.2 percent in 2015 at this point compared to the same point in 2014 yet they finished up 8.9 percent.
Any progress against armed robberies and carjacking is a good thing, but the city has a long way to go before these crimes could be considered under control.