PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The US Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia is working to cut violent crime with a new public awareness campaign that launched Monday. “Gun crime equals fed time. No parole every time” — that’s the message starting to blanket bus shelters, billboards and soon social media in Philadelphia.
The ads are being put up by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which includes Philadelphia.
“A lot of violent crimes can be taken federally,” said U.S. Attorney William McSwain.
McSwain is our region’s top federal prosecutor. He hopes his office’s new public awareness campaign informs people of the differences between state crimes and federal crimes.
He also says the campaign is in response to local leaders not doing enough to curb crime.
“People who are considering committing a crime think that the consequences in the local criminal justice system might be light, might not be that big of a deal,” he said. “We want people to know you’re taking a big risk.”
While the U.S. Attorney’s Office generally prosecutes tax evasion, money laundering and political corruption in Philly, the office is taking on more violent crime cases, like robberies.
In fact, violent crime prosecutions in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia increased by 53% in 2019 compared to 2018.
“Because of the public safety crisis we’re dealing with right now we have moved more resources into the violent crime area,” McSwain said.
The U.S. Attorney also said that the messaging is expected to stay up for the next few months.