PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Violent crime this summer in Providence dropped 31% in comparison to previous years, city officials announced Wednesday.
“We’re seeing a sharp decrease in crime this summer,” Mayor Jorge Elorza said.
Data released by the police department shows 32 people have been shot in the capital city so far in 2022, compared to 55 during the same time period last year.
Homicides have also sharply decreased, with five recorded so far in 2022 compared to 18 during the same period in 2021.
“Going back to probably 1972 – exactly 50 years – we have not been this low in terms of homicide year to date,” Elorza added.
Aggravated assaults have increased in 2022 by 6%, while aggravated assaults with a firearm – shootings and shots fired incidents – have decreased 26% compared to last year, according to the data.
Officials displayed 20 confiscated weapons and six ghost guns at the event, touting the officers who have removed the guns from the street. Elorza said those would have likely been used to commit crimes if they hadn’t been seized.
“We have what has probably been one of, if not the safest summers in the city in at least a generation, maybe 40 or 50 years,” Elorza said.
Other types of crime, including vandalism, liquor law violations, and weapons and drug offenses, increased by a total of 16% compared to 2021.
Ghost guns, also known as privately made firearms, have become more common in the area, according to Col. Hugh Clements.
“We’ve had a proliferation over the last two years,” he said.
According to Clements, the city saw one ghost gun in 2018 and 15 in 2021. In 2022, police have recorded more than 20 so far.
In July, police took 134 guns off of the street, which was ahead of the pace of the 210 total firearms taken off the street last year.
Providence has seen an increase in property crimes this year, partly due to the rise in catalytic converter thefts.
Property crime has increased 12% this year compared to last year.
Elorza also announced the Flock license plate readers will be turned on tomorrow.
The readers will take photos of cars and license plates. The city hopes the technology will help fight crime, but some Providence City Council members have raised privacy concerns.