U.S. Murders in Oakland Rise Throughout Pandemic: Media

SAN FRANCISCO, May 31 (Xinhuanet) – The California city of Oakland, United States, has seen a sharp rise in homicides during the pandemic, according to a newspaper report.

As of May 23, the city had recorded 51 homicides, up 132 percent from the same period last year and up 70 percent from 2019, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday.

That year, the areas with the highest number of murders that year were Area 3, the region that includes Fruitvale and Central Oakland, and Area 5, the easternmost section of Oakland. East Oakland and the Fruitvale area have more low-income city residents than North Oakland, West Oakland or downtown, the report said.

According to Antoine Towers, chairman of the Violence Prevention Coalition in Oakland, three main reasons have caused the dramatic increase in deadly violence.

School closings drove many young people into the streets with more conflict among themselves. Drug and alcohol abuse increased when people were stuck indoors. And the loss of income can lead some people to commit serious crimes.

The number of homicides in Oakland was 165 in 1992. Since then, homicides have largely decreased, at 70 in 2018 and 78 in 2019.

Oakland isn’t the only city facing these problems. According to media reports, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City saw a significant increase in homicide rates in the first three months of 2021 compared to the same period last year.

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