CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Crime rates have been trending upwards nationally, and a recent Wallethub study lists three Hampton Roads cities in the top rankings for an increase in the most violent crime: homicide.
“There are a few explanations as to why we have seen homicide increases across the US. The last few years have been a period of instability/challenge with COVID-19, social unrest, and political change. During these periods faith in social institutions waivers (like the criminal justice system) and overall social control may weaken," said Christopher Salvatore, an associate professor of justice studies at Montclair State University.
"In addition, we had people forced to stay home, and a large portion of crimes are committed by those we know – so crimes that increased recently such as domestic violence, assaults, and homicide may be due to interpersonal conflicts, increased use of drugs and alcohol, as well as increased social and economic pressures due to the pandemic.”
Chesapeake was 17th on the list, Virginia Beach was 23rd and Norfolk was 29th. This means that these three cities have seen some of the largest increases in homicides within the last year.
The rate was determined by WalletHub comparing 50 of the largest cities in the country to their per capita homicide rate for the second quarter of 2022. They also looked at the second quarters of 2021 and 2020 to show the change in rate.
Per capita is based on the size of a population, and not necessarily the number of murders in total. So these cities might not have more murders than other places, but it shows a concerning rate of killings.
The city with the highest increase rate per capita in the U.S. currently is New Orleans, Louisiana.
The city with the highest continuous homicide rate in the U.S. is Baltimore, Maryland.