The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) has released the city’s crime statistics for the first half of 2018 (January to June) comparing them to the first half of 2017, (January to June).
Looking at the raw numbers, property crime is down, but it’s the homicide rate that continues to be alarming.
Here’s a look at the crime stats for the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year:
Change: -15.7 %
AUTO THEFTS DOWN
It is very good news that auto burglary went down 31% and that auto thefts went down by 16%.
On July 14, 2018, it was reported that for the year 2017, that Albuquerque was ranked number one in auto thefts in the country for the second year in a row.
The decline in auto thefts and auto burglaries for the first 6 months of this year is a clear indication that the “Bernalillo County Auto Theft Suppression Effort” is having an impact.
On March 21, 2018, it was announced that the Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State Police were joining forces to address the city’s and the county’s out of control auto theft rates calling it the “Bernalillo County Auto Theft Suppression Effort”.
The auto theft suppression effort includes tactical operations that combine technology, resources, manpower and intelligence from all three of the law enforcement agencies to arrest more suspects and recover more stolen vehicles.
MURDER RATE STILL ALARMING
There were 6 more murders in the first quarter of 2018 compared with 2017 which was a 50% increase.
Homicides have now dropped the first half of 2018 by 18% compared to last year which is great news.
However, the city is still on track to break the all time high of 70 murders by the end of the year.
Non-fatal shootings for the first quarter of this year had a 0% change from last year, but now have increased by +5% for the first half of 2018.
Property crimes by far are more common than non-fatal shooting and murders.
The fact is, murders do not drive property crime trends, but it is the other way around.
A murder is usually committed when another crime is being committed such as armed robbery or domestic violence or it’s a crime committed in the heat of anger and a gun is readily available.
It’s difficult at best to bring down homicide rates, but it can be done when you bring down other violent crime such as armed robbery, aggravated assaults, illicit drug offenses and domestic violence.
In March of this year, 5 homicides were reported in six days!
Albuquerque has had 39 homicides the first 6 months of this year as compared to 33 murders for the same time period last year.
Mayor Tim Keller, Chief Michael Geier and APD can take comfort and a degree of credit for bringing down property crimes for the first half of the year on their watch and congratulations to them all.
All can breath a little easier, but not for long.
Property crimes do tend to be “seasonal” and increase in the summer time, so APD needs to continue with their efforts and vigilance.
It is very good news is that Albuquerque’s property crime rates for the first time in a number of years are declining.
The bad news is that the city’s murder rates is still way too high and the city is way too violent.
In other words, your property may be safe, but you still need to carry your gun for self-protection.