(Posted August 7, 2015)
DCPNI is pleased to see the Urban Institute’s recent report entitled Our Changing City: Public Safety which focuses on violent crime in the District of Columbia. DCPNI is also pleased to have been identified as a positive solution working in the Kenilworth-Parkside community towards decreasing the amount of all crime in the community.
The Urban Institute’s report correctly identifies the increasing amount of violent crime in the Kenilworth and Eastland Gardens community over the past 15 years (from 2000 to 2014). However, DCPNI feels that an additional story can be told about violent crime in Kenilworth-Parkside by including data from the first six months of 2015.
Using publicly available data from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Crime Mapping Application (http://crimemap.dc.gov/), DCPNI has found that violent crime in Kenilworth-Parkside during the first six months of 2015 is lower than the number of violent crimes committed in the first six months of 2013 and 2014. This may signal a change in the community to lower levels of violent crime beginning in 2015 and may lead to violent crime levels similar to what the community experienced in 2011 and 2012.
In this brief publication, DCPNI will examine violent crime in two geographic areas. The first geographic area examined is the Kenilworth-Parkside community as a whole – which is also the geographic boundary for our promise neighborhood and is slightly larger than the geographic area highlighted in the Urban Institute report. The second geographic area examined is the Kenilworth community, which is made up of a single census tract (96.01) and is home to two public housing communities (Kenilworth Courts and the Kenilworth Parkside Resident Management Corporation) and an area of single family homes known as Eastland Gardens. This area has exactly the same geographic boundaries as the Neighborhood Cluster highlighted in the Urban Institute report.
DCPNI’s analysis of violent crime data in Kenilworth-Parkside mirrored the findings in the Urban Institute report – between 2011 and 2014, violent crime in the Kenilworth-Parkside community increased. Table 1 below shows the increases in violent crime and property crime that took place in Kenilworth-Parkside over the past several years.
As Table 1 shows, violent crime in the entire Kenilworth-Parkside community increased in 2013 and increased yet again in 2014. In 2014, twice the number of violent crimes were committed when compared to just two years prior.
However, using more recent data from the first half of 2015, DCPNI has found that violent crime is decreasing in Kenilworth-Parkside during 2015. DCPNI compared violent crime data in Kenilworth-Parkside for the first six months of 2015 to the first six months of violent crime data in the community for the previous four years. The results are found in Table 2.
Violent Crime and Property Crime Committed in Kenilworth-Parkside During First Six Months of Each Year (January through June) 2011 to 2015
During the first six months of 2015, the Kenilworth-Parkside community experienced 23 violent crimes, which is a dramatic decrease from the 62 violent crimes that occurred in the community during the first six months of 2014. When looking at the last five years of violent crime data, Kenilworth-Parkside in 2015 has experienced the lowest number of violent crimes committed during the first six months of the year. The Kenilworth-Parkside community also has seen a decrease in overall crime during the first six months of the year when compared to the similar time in past years.
DCPNI then examined a second geographic area – the Kenilworth part of the community which mirrors the Kenilworth/Eastland Gardens neighborhood cluster highlighted in the Urban Institute report. DCPNI found that in Kenilworth, the amount of violent crime committed during the first six months of 2015 decreased drastically compared to the same period of time during the previous year. Furthermore, only 4 violent crimes were committed in Kenilworth during the first six months of 2015.
Violent Crime and Property Crime Committed in Kenilworth (Census Tract 96.01) During First Six Months of Each Year (January through June) 2011 to 2015
As shown in Table 3, violent crime in Kenilworth during the first six months of the year has increased since 2011 and peaked in 2014. However, the first six months of 2015 has seen violent crime levels fall back down to similar levels as 2011. Property crime and overall crime are also lower during the first six months of 2015 when compared to more recent years.
It is important to note that DCPNI has yet to convert this recent crime data into population-based rates (such as violent crimes per 1,000 residents) similar to those used in the Urban Institute report. DCPNI has not yet obtained population estimates for 2015 for the Kenilworth-Parkside community. However, we feel that the raw violent crime data (and the recent decreases in violent crime) still tell an important story, especially when compared to recent years.
Although there is no guarantee that these decreases in violent crime in Kenilworth-Parkside will continue for the remainder of 2015, DCPNI does feel that the community is addressing past years of violent crime. Through half the year, the Kenilworth-Parkside community has experienced drastic decreases in violent crime and the expectation is that these decreases will be sustained through the end of the year.
 Through the MPD crime mapping application, DCPNI was able to access crime data from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2015. DCPNI was unable to obtain publicly available data farther back than 2011, so this analysis will focus solely on data from 2011 to 2015. Our analysis is also limited to the data that is made publicly available through the crime mapping application – additional crime data was not available to DCPNI at the time of this publication. In the future, DCPNI would like to work with the Urban Institute and MPD to identify ways to analyze additional historical data.
 The entire Kenilworth-Parkside community is located in MPD Police Service Area (PSA) 601. Using the crime mapping application, DCPNI obtained data on all crimes committed in PSA 601, and then eliminated all crimes that did not occur in the two census tracts that make up the community. This allowed DCPNI to obtain an accurate picture of all crimes committed in the two geographic areas of focus for this publication.