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The News Hole

Query Letter

Posted 10/11/2006

I was just wondering what our current murder rate is in Philly. I donít have TV, so I canít watch the news. I tried to do a little research, but most sites havenít been updated since July. Just wondering.

Dani Fluck
Philadelphia

You donít need a TV to get the homicide numbers for a city. All you need is a phone. A call to the Philadelphia Police Departmentís public affairs office revealed that the city had 310 murders as of Friday, Oct. 6, far outstripping Baltimoreís 215 on the same date. But, Philadelphiaís population is nearly 1.5 million people, more than double Baltimoreís. More troubling is the increase in homicides in Philadelphia last year. According to the FBIís Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the city had 377 murders in 2005, a 14 percent rise from the year before, far beyond the national average increase of 3.4 percent. And with 310 murders and three months to go, Philadelphia is poised to meet or exceed last yearís numbers.

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