Thursday, September 23, 2010

Arizona crime rates up? Not really.

Yesterday a local talk radio station aired a long interview with a local expert criminologist and a 20-year veteran Sergeant of the Phoenix Police Department.

Campaigning local politicians talking about a rash of murders in the desert, but the FBI Crime Index shows crime sharply down statewide and in Phoenix since 2005.

The FBI statistics measure two types of crime: property crime and violent crime. Violent crimes include murder, negligent homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes include burglary, theft and car thefts.

  • In Phoenix, violent crimes are down 22% since 2005.

  • Phoenix’s homicide rate has dropped by 50% over the past 4 years.

  • Phoenix area property crimes are down 30% since 2005 while auto theft fell by 50%.

  • Statewide the numbers show a 24% drop in property crimes and a 14% drop in violent crimes.

Despite the widely perceived need for SB1070, Phoenix police have been checking the immigration status of people they arrest since 2008. A review of arrests since 2008 shows no significant increase in arrests of Hispanics, the majority of illegal immigrants in the area.

If you want facts instead of election season hyperbole, listen to the interview on Arizona’s falling crime rates.