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Prince William County homicides hit their lowest level since 2014 while state sees 23% increase

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The number of homicides reported in Prince William County in 2020 fell to the lowest level since 2014, according to a Virginia State Police crime report released this week. 

Prince William County had seven homicides in 2020, 50% fewer than the 14 reported in 2019. It is the lowest number of homicides reported annually in Prince William since 2014. The county’s 2020 homicide rate was equivalent to about one homicide per 100,000 residents. 

The total number of reported offenses in Prince William fell 17% in 2020, according to the state police report.

There were reported 14,362 “Group A” offenses in Prince William in 2020. Group A offenses include violent crimes, property crimes and drug offenses. Police made 4,578 arrests in those reported offenses, or in about 32% of them. 

The most common offenses reported in Prince William County in 2020 were simple assault, destruction of property, theft from a motor vehicle and drug or narcotics violations. 

Virginia homicides increase 23%

Across the state, 538 homicides were reported, up from 438 in 2019 – a 23% increase. 

The City of Richmond had the highest number of homicides in Virginia in 2020, with 66; the City of Norfolk reported 53 homicides; the City of Portsmouth reported 36 homicides; the City of Petersburg reported 27 homicides; and the cities of Hampton and Newport News each reported 25 homicides. 

Petersburg had the highest per-capita homicide rate in Virginia, with 85 murders per 100,000 residents. 

Of the 538 homicides reported, 79% were committed with a firearm.

Besides homicides and serious assaults, crime rates dropped for other offenses in Virginia. Crime rates for rape, simple assaults and burglaries all fell in 2020.

Reach Daniel Berti at

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