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Homicide rise continues in major U.S. cities, Hampton Roads area, report says

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Posted at 6:07 AM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 06:14:40-04

Violent crime is on the rise, with the murder rate jumping between 2019 and 2020 at the highest rate since the 1960s.

A new study by the Council on Criminal Justice is based on murders reported in 22 United States cities, including Norfolk, and preliminary data collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The study correlates with data from the Medical Examiner's Office in Hampton Roads, which saw a total of 185 murders in 17 different cities and counties around Hampton Roads - up from 160 in 2019.

Related: Frustrated Portsmouth residents press city council on plan to crack down on gun violence

Suffolk and Virginia Beach saw a decrease in the murder rate, but Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton and Chesapeake saw increases. Newport News stayed about the same.

In the first six months of 2021, the number of homicides nationwide increased by 16 percent compared to the same period in 2020. Compared to 2019, the murder rate is up 42 percent.

The Hampton Roads area saw 71 people killed by gun violence as of June 28, 2021.

Criminologists, police and social workers offer differing reasons for the historic increases in homicides. Those theories blame the spike in crime on growing numbers of gun purchases and a de-policing trend of cutting back on funding for law enforcement.

Here's a look at homicide rates in Hampton Roads between 2019 and 2020.

Number of Homicides that Occurred in Hampton Roads* by Month and Year of Death, 2019-2020**
Month of Death20192020**
Jan719
Feb716
Mar1215
Apr814
May3319
Jun1013
Jul2117
Aug1912
Sep1120
Oct1312
Nov614
Dec1314
Total160185