PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Crime in Portsmouth is off to its most violent start in recent memory.
A 13News Now investigation found a stunning five-fold increase in shootings when compared to this time in 2021.
Through February 21, there have been 26 people shot in Portsmouth. That’s compared to the five people shot through this time last year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
So, which year is the outlier?
To better answer that question we looked at crime statistics dating back several years to get a more accurate sense of trends in the city.
Over the past five years (2017-2021), 13News Now Investigates found an average of 11 people shot in Portsmouth by this time of year. That is far fewer than the reported 26 shooting victims this year.
All these numbers confirm what police and sadly many families in Portsmouth are coming to learn: 2022 is off to a noticeably more violent start than years past.
"We are doing everything we can to curb gun violence through Community Engagement and Strategic Policing," according to a spokesperson for the Portsmouth Police Department.
Portsmouth accounts for a third of all 75 people shot this year in Hampton Roads, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
Homicides in Portsmouth are also outpacing the rest of Hampton Roads. There have been eight killings so far this year in the city, including two victims younger than 18.
Portsmouth Police released the "Crime Prevention & Violence Reduction Plan" in October 2021 as a blueprint to address gun violence in the city.