WHAT HAS BEEN the IMPACT OF COVID 19 on HOMICIDE RATES?
During this COVID 19 pandemic year, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago have all seen a meteoric rise in homicides. The increase in Los Angeles was above 30%; New York was almost 40%, while Chicago was more than 50%, all compared to 2019 ( https://www.npr.org/2021/01/06/953254623/massive-1-year-rise-in-homicide-rates-collided-with-the-pandemic-in-2020 ).
Jeff Asher, a data consultant in New Orleans reports that the increases are in smaller cities as well: “We’re going to see, historically, the largest one-year rise in murder that we’ve ever seen.” Murder rates increased in the early summer, and then again in September and October, when some of the financial assistance began to disappear.
A Chicago minister, Marshall Hatch Sr., noted that when poverty is a factor, “….people tend to turn on each other.”
Crimes involving property have decreased, as noted by Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. With people at home due to quarantines, burglaries are less likely since the thieves avoid homes that are occupied. With shops closed, shoplifting is down as well. Rosenfeld studied 28 cities, including St. Louis, Kansas City, and Milwaukee, where homicides increased substantially.
One question still unanswered: will these rates of homicide be a one-year phenomenon? What might reduce these numbers? Efforts to vaccinate people may help, since programs designed to reduce violence will resume. These programs require a lot of in-person services.
Therapists at IPN are well-trained and experienced in lowering levels and intensity of angry feelings. Telehealth sessions are available.
Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Torrance, CA. A member of the Independent Psychotherapy Network, he can be reached at 310 539-2772 or firstname.lastname@example.org Telehealth sessions are available.
Copyright 2021 by Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D.