ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The FBI reported rises in the rates of property and violent crime in New Mexico that was largely propelled by increases in the state’s most populous city, Albuquerque.
The bureau’s Crime in the United States report released on Monday indicated that violent crime increased by 6.8 percent and property crime increased by 6.2 percent across the state between 2015 and 2016.
Albuquerque saw violent crime increase by 15.5 percent and property crime rise by 13.3 percent while violent crime in Santa Fe rose by 4.18 percent and property crime went up by 4 percent.
Last year in Albuquerque, there were 6,245 reported instances of violent crime, which included murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. At the same time, 38,528 burglaries and larcenies were reported in the city.
Although current crime rates for New Mexico are lower than they were decades ago, the crime spike in Albuquerque comes on the heels of four consecutive years of rising violent crime.
Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said the recent spike was in part due to the case management order that went into effect in 2015. The state Supreme Court order that only affected the Albuquerque area aimed to reduce the population in jail by moving cases through the courts more quickly.
“With the case management order we started to see cases being dismissed by the District Attorney’s office and started to see the jail population decrease,” Eden said. “Quite frankly, what I think happened is there were just too many decisions being made in the criminal justice system and that has created a real perfect storm for our state and for the 2nd judicial district.”
While the state’s rates increased overall, the FBI estimated that the rates of both violent crime and property crime dropped in rural and suburban areas.
The FBI statistics are part of an annual report assembled from data collected by law enforcement agencies across the country. The data that agencies submit can be incomplete and not all agencies participate.