ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KRQE) – New Mexico is no stranger to violent crime, but so far this year's homicide total has outpaced the previous two years' average by almost 75%. The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) documented 35 homicides in the city as of April 18, 2021. There were only 18 at same time last year. Most of these homicides are gang related.
While most cities see a decrease in murders during summer months, that isn't true for Albuquerque. So far this year, there have been 91 shootings, which is already more than the total number of shootings in all of 2019. Even worse, there have been over 100 arrests per month this year, which is more than the entire number of arrests in 2018 and 2017.
Albuquerque has the highest rate of gun violence among young adults in New Mexico. One in three young adults here has been involved in the drug trade at some point in their life. Over 70% of those arrested for murder between 2016 and 2018 were unemployed and currently serving sentences for earlier crimes. Only 20% of those imprisoned will be released within five years.
Violence is not limited to urban centers. Rural areas are not immune either. Last year, APD responded to more than 300 calls about livestock thefts. Many of these thefts involve horses, and some have resulted in murders. There have also been several cases of cattle being stolen and then found with their throats cut.
Livestock theft problems date back many years.
According to the most recent non-preliminary federal crime figures from 2018, Albuquerque's crime rate was more than 3.5 times the national average. According to an Associated Press estimate of violent crime rates per 100,000 people, Albuquerque is ranked 10th in the US, slightly below Stockton, California. Property crimes are also common in Albuquerque with an estimated rate of 1,000 burglaries per 100,000 people, which puts it at number 12 for property crimes.
Albuquerque has one of the highest rates of violence against women in the country. The city ranks first in the nation for female homicide victims per 100,000 people. Between 2016 and 2017, there were four cases of female serial killers in New Mexico.
Crime is rarely reported in Albuquerque due to a strong community culture that values anonymity and confidentiality when reporting crime. Police say that their investigations tend to focus on major crimes that get media attention or where there are potential witnesses who may not want to come forward. For example, police say that many sexual assault cases do not get investigated thoroughly because the victims know the suspects and refuse to cooperate. Violent crime tends to be concentrated in certain areas of the city so police often work with community partners to reduce crime elsewhere in the city.
Albuquerque has been listed as one of the most dangerous cities in America for several years in a row.
According to most estimates, more than 90% of all crimes go undetected. Nonetheless, the aggregate number of recorded killings in Monterrey's consular district increased in 2019. The overall number of homicides in 2019 is 2,618 as follows: 314 cases in Coahuila (20.86 percent increase), 282 in Nuevo Leon (22.81 percent increase), 271 in Tamaulipas (43.08 percent increase), and 21 double homicides.
Crime in general and the rate of violence in particular are major concerns for residents of Monterrey and other cities across Mexico. In response, the government has deployed thousands of police officers to combat crime, but they are hindered by a lack of resources such as cars, equipment, and training. Crime is so frequent in some parts of town that many people don't bother locking their doors or windows, which can lead to opportunistic theft.
In addition to crime, Monterrey is known for its high rate of vehicle accidents that result in death or injury. The city has the highest percentage of road fatalities in Mexico - 52 per 100,000 inhabitants compared with 16 per 100,000 in Mexico as a whole. The main cause of death in accidents is traffic violence - pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and passengers of trucks and buses. There have been efforts to improve transportation safety, such as reducing the speed limit in certain areas or installing crossing guards at school zones, but more needs to be done.
Unfortunately, New Mexico is one of the most hazardous states in terms of crime; its violent crime rate of 8.57 crimes per 1,000 population in 2018 is more than twice as high as national levels, and its property crime rate is also high.
The most dangerous city in New Mexico is Albuquerque, which has a crime rate that is nearly six times higher than that of Virginia Beach, Va., which has the lowest crime rate among the largest cities in the state.
The most common type of crime in New Mexico is vehicle theft, followed by robbery and murder. The risk of becoming a victim of violence is highest for people who live or work in major cities or rural areas because many types of crimes go unreported. However many victims recover data showing that their computers were not stolen from outside their homes or businesses.
Approximately half of all murders in New Mexico are related to drug trafficking or drug use. According to the Justice Department, 95 percent of drug traffickers operate out of U.S. borders or ports of entry. Therefore, it is important for citizens to be aware of the risks posed by drug trafficking and use caution when traveling through areas where drugs are commonly smuggled.
Many people believe that crime rates rise after a disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake because criminals look for easy targets.