Birmingham murder rate up 15.7% from 2019, other violent crimes down significantly

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — According to Birmingham Police Department data, murders in the city are up significantly, year over year.

“We can show that crime is down overall,” Chief Patrick Smith of the Birmingham Police Department said. “But there’s one number that sticks out, and that’s our homicide number.”

Data released Nov. 30 shows the murder rate in Birmingham is up by 15.7% from 2019.

“The community has to be willing to step up and say this is not acceptable in our community,” Chief Smith said.

The data shows other violent crimes in Birmingham are down year over year.

Crime TypeYTD 2020 YTD 2019Percent Change (%)
Homicide9683+15.7
Rape79149-47
Robbery441717-38.5
Aggravated Assaults2,2732,692-15.6
Total Violent Crimes2,8893,641-20.7
Based on data from Birmingham Police Department released Nov. 30, 2020

Birmingham Police’s jurisdiction is divided into four precincts: North, South, East, and West.

  1. The North Precinct

The North Precinct patrols North Birmingham. In total, violent crimes in the North Precinct were down by 19.3%. As with the city, homicides were the only type of violent crime to increase in the precinct.

Crime TypeYTD 2020YTD 2019Percent Change (%)
Homicide1513+15.4
Rape830-73.3
Robbery70122-42.6
Aggravated Assaults380421-9.7
Total Violent Crimes473586-19.3
Based on data from Birmingham Police Department on Nov. 30, 2020

2. The South Precinct

The South Precinct patrols the areas around Five Points South, including the southern part of the UAB campus. Homicides in this precinct were up by seven.

Crime TypeYTD 2020YTD 2019Percent Chance (%)
Homicide 191258.3
Rape2430-20
Robbery99174-43.1
Aggravated Assaults406460-11.7
Total Violent Crimes548676-18.9
Based on data from Birmingham Police Department on Nov. 30, 2020

3. The East Precinct

The East Precinct patrols the areas around Woodcrest, Roebuck and Huffman neighborhoods. This is the only precinct in which homicides decreased.

Crime TypeYTD 2020YTD 2019Percent Change (%)
Homicide2527-7.4
Rape2242-47.6
Robbery132195-32.3
Aggravated Assaults655757-13.5
Total Violent Crimes8341,012-18.3
Based on data from Birmingham Police Department on Nov. 30, 2020

4. The West Precinct

The West Precinct patrols the areas around Ensley, Highlands, Central Park, and West End.

Crime TypeYTD 2020YTD 2019Percent Change (%)
Homicide 373023.3
Rape2546-45.7
Robbery140211-33.6
Aggravated Assaults8321,021-18.5
Total Violent Crimes1,0341,308-20.7
Based on data from Birmingham Police Department on Nov. 30, 2020

Chief Smith says citizens can help the police address the increase in homicides by becoming more involved in the community.

He suggests residents “work with their area captain, work with their officers in the field…attend the community meetings, [and] become involved in the police department.”

“We need them. We need what they see,” Chief Smith said.


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