Videos spread message in English and Spanish: “It’s your community. It’s your call.”
PHOENIX, AZ (October 23, 2013) – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery urges County residents to “step out of the shadows and report crime” in a series of video Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that will appear on local broadcast and cable channels over the next twelve to eighteen months. Presented in English and Spanish versions, the PSAs are intended to raise awareness of the link between reporting crime and reducing crime. The videos also emphasize that under Arizona law, the immigration status of victims or witnesses is not considered when they report a crime.
“Reporting crime is everyone’s responsibility and an essential requirement in our efforts to improve public safety and achieve justice for victims,” Montgomery said. “One of the points we want to drive home with these announcements is that crime victims and witnesses need not fear an investigation into their immigration status. This is consistent with the guidance I have given law enforcement throughout Maricopa County and it is what I have repeated at multiple community events. Our first duty is to hold the offender accountable,” he added.
According to data compiled by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the rate of violent crime in Maricopa County fell 2.3% in 2012 from the previous year, while property crimes dropped more than 14%. Analysts cite several possible factors behind these declines, including improved policing, effective criminal sentencing, crime prevention programs and demographic changes.
“In order to continue this downward trend, people need to report crime when and where it occurs,” Montgomery noted. “The more people embrace this idea, regardless of who they are or where they live, the safer our community as a whole will be.”
The PSAs will begin airing next month and run throughout 2014. They will also be posted on the County Attorney’s website and distributed via social media. Funds to produce the videos came from fees paid by possessors of controlled substances who participate in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deferred Prosecution Program.