What’s behind the rise of violent crime in Washington, DC

An alarming occurrence of violent crime could be seen throughout Washington, D.C., in 2023, as other big cities saw rates of crime plummet.

End-of-the-year crime data released by the Metropolitan Police Department doesn’t dive into the root causes of what has driven or exacerbated D.C.’s issues in recent years. D.C. officials, members of Congress, and community advocates all have proposed reasons behind the city’s high crime rate. Some have connected the gentrification of once majority black neighborhoods to an unrest, leading to more crime, while others blame local Democratic policies for being “soft-on-crime” amid a shrinking police force.

A look into the numbers

The District ended 2023 with a 26% increase in overall crime compared to last year, according to data published by the MPD. That included a 39% increase in violent crime and a 24% increase in
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