Despite overall crime being down, homicides are on the rise in Birmingham

Birmingham Police Chief addresses domestic violence and homicides

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Despite overall crime being down in Birmingham, there’s one crime on the rise and that’s homicides.

In the past week, police say at least three people were killed - all from domestic violence.

Homicides are up 8.6%, according to Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith. Police say many of those deaths are because of domestic violence and fights among people who know each other.

“Many of the homicides that we’ve seen, I want to say about 25 of them have occurred indoors, inside of a residence. So there’s very little the police can do,” Chief Smith said.

Smith says there’s another 20 or so homicides that have occurred just outside the home and are domestic-related.

“From what we’ve seen from the data, it shows that in many of these instances, the first choice of resolution has been a handgun,” Smith said.

We know domestic violence comes in many forms and anyone can be impacted by it. Smith says it’s important for someone to recognize the warning signs and get help even though he admits that’s easier said than done.

“People can feel trapped in a relationship or trapped inside of a residence or maybe the person who is the abuser is the bread winner in the house. I would say what is your health, well being, your mental stability and what is your life worth? Take the chance, reach out, ask for help…let us provide you with the resources needed,” Smith said.

We know the police department has more detectives so Chief Smith says that’s helping with the clearance rate of these cases which is around 60%. That’s also around the national average.

The YWCA says if you’re at home with your abuser and you can’t call the crisis line, you can text the National DV hotline: by texting LOVEIS to 22522 or go to thehotline.org.

You can call the YWCA’s 24 hour Crisis Line at 205-322-4878 or 1-800-650-6522.

One Place offers domestic violence resources here: https://oneplacebirmingham.com/

Crisis Center Birmingham – The Crisis Center continues to provide 24 hour services:

Crisis and Suicide Line – 205-323-7777

Rape Response Hotline – 205-323-7273

Recovery Crisis Line – 205-458-3377

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