Gangs Probably to Blame for Murder Spike

Oklahoma City is watching a disturbing trend unfold in their city the past few years: murder rates have been rising. In less than 10 years the city’s body count jumped from about 50 a year to almost 75! Some blame the economy; others say the problem is caused by the influx of gangs in the city.

The bad economy is not to blame for an increase in homicides, experts argue. The economy has been poor all over the country and the trend in murder rates in Oklahoma City does not conform to the rest of America. The national murder rate has fallen to less than 5 per 100,000 in 2012 in the past two decades; while Oklahoma City’s number of murders has soared to almost 15! Oklahoma City is now ranked as one of the 20 most dangerous cities in the 50 states.

Oklahoma City ranks among the top five cities in the country for gang-related crime. It seems like a more viable explanation for the increase in murders than the economy; especially considering the entire country has faced a recession and murder rates decline in many other places. Even New York City has a lower rate of murders.

Even though homicides appear down for 2014, it is still too soon to make an accurate prediction. It is really impossible to guess how many murders will occur in a year, there is no trend to follow. Some year’s report more homicides in the beginning months others have more killings at the end. Extrapolating the numbers is useless; they have to just see what happens.

Source: Oklahoma Gazette