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Washington Security & Crime
 
 
 

During the violent crime wave of the early 1990s, Washington DC was known as the 'murder capital' of the United States and often rivaled New Orleans in the number of homicides. The number of murders peaked in 1991 at 482, but the level of violence declined drastically in the 1990s. By 2006, the annual murder count in the city had declined to 169. Other forms of property crime, including thefts and robberies, also declined by similar percentages. Despite the declining trends, the FBI's 2006 Uniform Crime Report still ranks overall crime in Washington as the seventh-highest in the nation among cities with populations over 250,000.

Like most large cities, crime is highest in areas associated with illegal drugs and gangs. The more affluent neighborhoods of Northwest Washington experience low levels of crime, but the incidence of crime increases as one goes further east. Once plagued with violent crime, many DC neighbourhoods such as Columbia Heights and Logan Circle are becoming safe and vibrant areas due to the effects of gentrification. As a result, crime in the District is being displaced even further east and across the border into Prince George's County, Maryland.

On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States held in District of Columbia v. Heller that the city's 1976 handgun ban violates the Second Amendment right to gun ownership. However, the ruling does not prohibit all forms of gun control; laws requiring firearm registration remain in place, as does the city's assault weapon ban.

 

 
 


 



 


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