Jun. 7, 2023 9:49 am

Public Safety by the Numbers

An infographic series exploring the data behind Philadelphia's public safety issues.

Investigators gather evidence after a man was shot several times and critically wounded in the Frankford section of Philadelphia in September, 2012.

Crime Scene Unit members gather evidence from a sidewalk on Saul Street near Bridge Street in the Frankford section of Philadelphia, Saturday Sept. 29, 2012, after a man was shot several times late Friday night. Police said the shots that wounded the 52-year-old victim were fired from a .45-caliber gun just before 10:30 p.m. Friday night. Police said the man was wounded in the chest and legs and was in very critical condition after being transported to Temple hospital by officers who responded to the call. (For GunCrisis.org/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

updated 6/8/2023 at 8:08 am to include PEW 2016 report link.

In 2016, there was a shift. According to the State of the City 2016 report from PEW, the top concern of Philadelphia residents changed significantly: in February 15, the top concern was K-12 education; in August 2016, it was public safety. Seven years later, public safety is at the top of every conversation, survey, and concern from residents and policymakers.

While one may easily point to crime as a concern for public safety. There are several factors that impact safety. According to a Human Rights Watch’s report cited in the 2020 article A Roadmap for Re-imagining Public Safety in the United States: 14 Recommendations on Policing, Community Investment, and Accountability, high unemployment rates, low incomes, and lack of access to quality education and healthy foods are factors of poverty that “ increase the likelihood people will pursue illegal means of survival.”

So what do some of those factors look like in Philadelphia?

Each week this month, we will highlight data on a key factor impacting public safety.

June is Gun Violence Awareness Month, so Generocity will kick off this infographic series with crime statistics.

Issues such as COVID-19 and Social Unrests have impacted crime and poverty significantly. However while violent crimes are decreasing slightly year over year, historically crimes have been trending up. If crime is a factor of those in need pursuing illegal activity to survive, what responsibility do our civic and business leaders have to them and to our community to decrease that need and increase public safety?

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