It’s relieving numbers for people who live in Albuquerque. City officials say crime continues to fall, for the most part.
“Up until 2018, we were going the wrong direction with respect to almost every crime statistic,“ says Mayor Tim Keller.
It’s a major turnaround, according to Mayor Keller and Albuquerque Police Chief, Michael Geier. “It’s a little difficult challenge in this society today with the issues we face, but we did make a little bit of a decrease and this is one of our focuses as we’re moving into 2019,“ says Chief Geier.
City officials released crime stats for the year’s first quarter. Compared to the same time period in 2018, robberies are down 21%, homicides have dropped 24%, and auto-related crimes dropped significantly.
“Auto theft is down 26%. That’s a 39% decrease since 2017. Auto burglary is down 28%. That is a 44% decrease since 2017,“ says Mayor Keller.
These crimes have created a bad reputation for the city, not only among residents, but travelers passing through who keep falling victim to thieves.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Albuquerque ranked first in the nation for most stolen cars for 2017.
While 2018 rankings have not been released yet, the city says they’ve been focusing on tackling auto-related crimes hoping it would have a ripple effect.
“The increase of traffic stops. The visible deterrent that that causes as well as the stops. They sometimes generate information that leads to an arrest,“ says Chief Geier.
It’s all relatively positive except for two areas.
Police admit the number of non-fatal shootings and juveniles involved in crimes has gone up in the last two years. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen an increase in juvenile offenders that have access to guns,“ says Chief Geier.
Later this week, Mayor Keller and APD will announce new initiatives to try to bring down the number of non-fatal shootings. The city is also working to hire 100 new officers by the end of the year.