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Miami goes seven weeks without a homicide for first time since 1957

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Crime rates in cities nationwide have dropped as stay-at-home orders keep people indoors in an effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic. In Miami, Florida, there were no homicides for seven weeks for the first time since 1957, according to the Miami Police Department.

There were also no homicides during a six-week period for the first time since 1960. "We can say that it's due to our police high visibility, attributed with the pandemic and the Stay At Home order," a Miami Police Department spokesperson told CBS News.  

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez declared a local state of emergency on March 12 to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and the order has since been extended six times in week-long increments.

From February 17 until April 12 of this year — a total of seven weeks and six days — Miami had no reported homicides, according to police. In 1957, the city went 9 weeks and 3 days without any reported homicides. In 1960, a period of 6 weeks and 5 days passed without a homicide. 

According to the Miami police, other crimes have also decreased. The department said the decrease has extended to domestic violence calls. But Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina told The New York Times he is concerned incidents of domestic violence and child abuse may be underreported during the order.

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A street normally busy with traffic is nearly empty as large numbers of people stay home in an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic on March 24, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Getty Images

Crime is also down in Baltimore since Maryland issued its own stay-at-home order, CBS Baltimore reports. Although criminal incidents in the city still continue on a daily basis, assault, carjacking, robbery and shootings have all gone down since the order was implemented. 

When compared to the same time last year, common assaults in Baltimore went down 34%, aggravated assaults went down 17%, and shootings dropped by 8%. 

Los Angeles similarly reported that violent crime and property crimes are down compared to last year, according to CBS Los Angeles. Within a 9.73% drop in violent crime overall, homicides in particular were down 21%. 

The same, unfortunately, cannot be said of Chicago. Despite a stay-at-home order in the city, robberies and shootings were up in the last week, according to CBS Chicago. Police responded to 19 shootings Tuesday night, six of which were homicides. That means shootings were up 42% from the same week last year, according to data analyzed by the station.

"We're fighting the pandemic, and we're fighting the epidemic," said Tony Raggs with the Alliance of Local Service Organizations. "The epidemic being violence."

In Los Angeles, the drop in violent crime has been marred by an increase in domestic violence calls. According to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, deputies responded to about 8% more domestic violence calls between mid-March and mid-April, when compared to last year. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, intimate partner violence affects 12 million people a year. Since stay-at-home orders went into affect, some regions have reported spikes in domestic violence complaints, while others are seeing a drop-off in domestic violence calls, as victims holed up with their abusers become more isolated.

"Everyone living in confined quarters, with very few options or reliefs, it's a concern," Villanueva said. 

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