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Homicides spike in US city amid pandemic: Report

Homicides Spike In Us City Amid Pandemic
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Oakland: Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic early last year, Oakland city in the US state of California has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of homicides, a media report said citing local authorities.

Through May 23, the city had recorded 51 homicides, a 132 per cent increase compared with the same period last year and a 70 per cent increase compared with 2019, Xinhua news agency quoted the the San Francisco Chronicle report published on Monday as saying.

So far this year, the areas with the most homicides are Area 3, the region encompassing Fruitvale and Central Oakland, and Area 5, Oakland’s easternmost section, the report said.

East Oakland and the Fruitvale area are home to more of the city’s low-income residents of colour than North Oakland, West Oakland or downtown, it added.

Three main reasons caused the dramatic increase in fatal violence, according to Antoine Towers, chair of Oakland’s Violence Prevention Coalition.

School closures drove many young people into the streets with more conflicts with each other.

Drug and alcohol abuse increased when people being stuck in the house, as well as the loss of income might have led some people to commit severe crimes.

Oakland’s homicide record was 165 in 1992.

Since then, the homicides have mostly fallen with 70 in 2018, and 78 in 2019.

Oakland is not the only American city facing these issues.

Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City all witnessed massive spikes in homicide rates in the first three months of 2021 relatively to the same period of last year, according to media reports.

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