ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New numbers released by the Albuquerque Police Department show an approximately 11 percent increase in property crime and 10 percent increase in violent crime in 2015 compared to 2014.
The data was released in APD’s annual report. It’s the fourth straight year violent crime numbers have increased and continues an upward trend in property crime since 2010.
“It really starts to put numbers to the fear and anxiety that people see every day right now,” said City Councilor Pat Davis, who was shown that data for the first time by KRQE News 13.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry defended his administration’s record, pointing out that the city’s two lowest levels of property crime in at least the past 20 years came during his time in office.
“We’re much lower on average than previous administrations so there’s no question we take it seriously,” Berry said. “But you and I and the citizens of Albuquerque know we want to continue to do better.”
The Mayor points to outside factors as contributing to the uptick in crime in recent years. One example he points to is the Supreme Court’s case management order, an attempt to speed up cases which has led to more dismissals. The jail population at the once crowded Metropolitan Detention Center has been cut in half.
“There’s more folks on the streets committing property crimes and our officers are dang good at arresting them,” Berry said.
But APD stats show that even though crime was up, arrests were down about 10 percent from 2014 to 2015, not surprising given the department’s shortage of officers.
“If we don’t get our own house in order, make an arrest, put our case together quickly and get it to the court in time to get them to do their job it’s really hard to point the fingers there,” Davis said. “Do they recognize there’s a problem? Yes. Have they done enough to really shake the game up? I don’t think so.”
Mayor Berry points out that there are already positive signs in APD’s staffing situation that should help bolster the ranks in the years to come. But he says reversing the upward trend will take more than just action from the mayor’s office.
“It’s a team effort,” Berry said. “When you look at fighting crime, there’s several parts of that equation.”