Fewer Shootings in '08

Philadelphians are shooting each other less as crime-fighting measures seem to be working in targeted areas in Philadelphia, according to officials.

Philly Mayor Michael Nutter joined Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey Tuesday to detail preliminary year-end crime statistics in the city.

In the nine districts targeted in the Mayor's crime plan homicides and shootings were down.

Homicides were down 28 percent -- exceeding the 25 percent goal that was laid out in January. Total shooting victims were down but the 16.7-percent decrease fell sort of the 20-percent goal.

Overall homicides are down about 15 percent from 392 in 2007 to 332 so far in 2008.

Shootings are also down about 11 percent throughout in the city.

The decline in homicides is the sharpest decline in a decade, said Nutter. He credited a dramatic shift in strategy, new laws and putting more police officers on the street as a major reason for the decline.

"Everyone concerned about public safety can look back on 2008 as a year when we began the broad shift in strategy, deployment of resources and collaboration that bodes so well for the future," said Nutter.

Official stats won't be released until Thursday.

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