ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police Department Interim Chief Harold Medina and department leaders released APD’s preliminary crime statistics for 2020 during a news conference on Wednesday, February 24.
January was a violent and deadly month in Albuquerque with 14 different homicides happening. Now, Chief Medina is trying to set the record straight by saying that overall crime is going down. The 2020 crime stats show that overall crime dropped by 7% for the second year in a row. People were home a lot more than usual during 2020 and property crime is down significantly, however, crimes against people are slightly up.
“Crimes against a person are up 2% and we really feel that this is really driven by our shootings. our shootings have been increased. Last year, we did start reducing them toward the end of the year,” Chief Medina said. He says many of the shootings are tied to domestic violence and drug use and admits the city started 2021 on a rough note.
Over the last two years, data shows aggravated assault has increased by 9% and murders have in total decreased 10%. The biggest jump is weapons law violations with APD reporting a two-year increase of 92%. The chief says property crime, including auto theft, has dropped for two years in a row, one of which we were not in the middle of a pandemic.
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Medina acknowledged that the department still has a long way to go but is confident in its progress. “We are showing these decreases but at times the community doesn’t recognize those decreases or realize what the true state of what we’re seeing is, occurring is occurring, because numbers are so high, to begin with,” Medina said.
He says with limited resources, the department is focusing on people who are driving crime. Medina pointed out an example when they recently tied one suspect to 80 different cases. He also says the pandemic did help cut down on crime in March and April of 2020 but says while most cities saw drastic increases in crimes like auto theft and burglaries, Albuquerque did not.
Medina says since 2018, 11,000 fewer people have experience property crime in Albuquerque.