With nearly a quarter of 2013 in the books, Philadelphia is safer than it's been in two decades, at least according to numbers. Homicides in the city are down by 43 percent compared to last year, as there have only been 41 homicides compared to 72 at the same time last year. 

After analyzing data from the Philadelphia Police Department, NBC Philadelphia determined that the 41 homicides as of Mar. 18 were the fewest reported in the city since 1992, which is when data for homicides by date became available. Furthermore, homicides have dipped by 50 percent after a seven-year high of 80 back in 2007. 

After averaging almost a homicide a day for the past two years, local law enforcement is happy to see the murders drop. “I’m a big believer in evidence-based policing: what really works, what has an impact,” said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.“We’re going to continue to tinker and to do things that we think are going to give us a jump on it so we can try to prevent some of these things from occurring.”

According to Ramsey, the police department focused on traditionally problematic areas such as North Philly's 22nd District, where there were 14 more murders in 2011 than any other district in the city. Still, the commissioner doesn't want to jump the gun on saying the city's problems have been resolved. 

“No one is claiming victory on anything here,” Ramsey said with caution.

[via NBC Philadelphia]