Kensington Philadelphia Drug & Crime Problems
Violent crime and drug abuse in Philadelphia as a whole is a major problem. The city’s violent crime rate is higher than the national average and other similarly sized metropolitan areas.1 Also alarming is Philadelphia’s drug overdose rate. The number of drug overdose deaths in the city increased by 50% from 2013 to 2015, with more than twice as many deaths from drug overdoses as deaths from homicides in 2015.2 A big part of Philadelphia’s problems stem from the crime rate and drug abuse in Kensington.
Because of the high number of drugs in Kensington, the neighborhood has a drug crime rate of 3.57, the third-highest rate by neighborhood in Philadelphia.3 Like a lot of the country, a big part of this issue is a result of the opioid epidemic. Opioid abuse has skyrocketed over the last two decades in the United States and Philadelphia is no exception. Along with having a high rate of drug overdose deaths, 80% percent of Philadelphia’s overdose deaths involved opioids2 and Kensington is a big contributor to this number. This Philly neighborhood is purportedly the largest open-air narcotics market for heroin on the East Coast with many neighboring residents flocking to the area for heroin and other opioids.4 With such a high number of drugs in Kensington, many state and local officials have zoned in on this area to try and tackle Philadelphia’s problem.