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Washington saw 28% rise in homicide this year: Report

Violent crime is on the rise in the US capital, where a 28 percent uptick in homicides this year has left researchers perplexed and politicians pointing fingers.

A new report says the US capital has seen a 28 percent uptick in homicide this year, as violent crimes continue to rise across the country.

The report published on Wednesday noted that victims of crime upsurge in Washington, DC cover a wide range from little schoolgirls to immigrants.

It added that despite all studies carried out so far, American researchers and politicians have not been able to find a concrete reason behind the rise in crime rate.

The latest figures show that Washington's murder rate has jumped at a time when it has been declining in other major cities.

According to police statistics, the number of armed car-jackings in the US capital has more than doubled.

The report added that many residents of Washington now avoid going to gas stations at night, as they are worried about car-jackings.

"DC is something of an outlier with respect to homicide trends," when compared to cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago or Baltimore, said Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Rosenfeld added that the explanation behind the uptick "remains something of a mystery."

Meanwhile, Joseph Richardson, a professor at the University of Maryland who studies violence prevention programs in Washington, has several theories.

"We can speculate that there may be a few things that are happening," he tells AFP, including a recent change in police leadership.

He also suspects the number of shootings linked to drug trafficking is underestimated.

Another theory is the destabilizing effect of gentrification.

In the United States, where poverty often falls along racial lines, it's frequently Black Americans who are uprooted.

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