(The Center Square) — Philadelphia has reported a significant reduction in the number of arrests made by police over the past nine years.  

From 2012 to 2021, the number of arrests made by the Philadelphia Police Department dropped 57%, from 70,971 arrests to 30,697. The latest audited report from the city provides data back to 2012.

The Center Square reached out to the city of Philadelphia for insight as to why the city reported such a drop in arrests. The city didn’t respond to specific questions.

In 2015, Philadelphia police made 71,661 arrests. That dropped to 55,693 in 2016, a 22% drop in one year. Over the next six years, there was a further reduction in arrests each year. 

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Police department employment also has dropped in Philadelphia. Full-time positions at the department have decreased from 7,292 in 2012 to 6,847 in 2021, according to the city’s annual financial report. That’s a 6% decline.

The budget for the police has increased over that same time frame. In 2012, the city allocated $1 billion for police funding, according to city financial documents. Police funding was $1.2 billion in 2021, according to city documents.

The city has seen an increase in homicides. 

According to a report from the Philadelphia Police Department, in 2012, there were 331 homicides. In 2021, there were 562 homicides. That’s a 70% increase in homicides in the city. 

Though homicide is a part of violent crime, violent crime and property crime has decreased in the city from 73,709 in 2012 to 68,338 in 2021. 

Overall violent crime and property crime during the pandemic remained consistent with prepandemic numbers. There was a 4% increase in violent crime and property crime in 2021 from the previous year. However, there were 40,702 arrests in 2020, which dropped to 30,697 arrests in 2021.

Elyse Apel writes for The Center Square.

This article was republished with permission from The Center Square.

One thought on “Arrests fall 57% in Philadelphia”

  1. It has to be very discouraging for the police to arrest a criminal only to have the judge drop the charges and release the criminal. Municipal Judge Karen Simmons for example.

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