The Bernalillo County District Attorney said crime is down for the first time in almost a decade. He’s crediting his office for keeping career criminals and constant troublemakers off the streets.
“For the first time in nearly eight years there has been a sustained drop in crime since August of 2017,” said District Attorney Raul Torrez.
It’s news most people in Albuquerque have been waiting to hear.
“We are making substantial progress. In fact, over the last year crime is down on average 17 percent over the year before,” said Torrez.
The biggest drop he said, has been in property crimes “in auto burglary, and in auto theft.”
Torrez said it’s thanks to a joint effort with his office and law enforcement.
“Building cases, providing us with timely discovery, helping us enhance the strength of types of cases that we build,” Torrez continued.
At a news conference Monday, Torrez said his office has cut the time it takes to file cases in half. Now, on average it takes 67 days for a case to go to court. The DA’s office has also focused on getting “serious repeat offenders” off the streets.
“That had multiple cases referred to this office and those cases had not been initiated,” said Torrez.
Out of 111 repeat offenders totaling more than 500 cases, close to 80 percent of those criminals have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing. However, people KRQE News 13 spoke to still think Albuquerque has a major crime problem.
“Honestly, I don’t see a difference with the crime rate going down. I still see a lot of news about the murders, the grand theft autos,” said Ronnie Baca of Albuquerque.
Torrez admits there is still a serious crime problem here, and the public agrees – Albuquerque still has a long way to go.
“Unfortunately, we also see some troubling trends in terms of gun violence and homicides,” said the District Attorney.
Torrez said they have successfully gone through the backlog of repeat offenders, and no longer have those types of people sitting in the backlog uncharged.