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Posted on: September 25, 2017

New FBI Crime Report Shows Both Rise and Fall in Arizona Crime Rates

PHOENIX— Today the FBI released its 2016 Uniform Crime Report data for Arizona. The report basically reflects the same overall crime rate as last year, given the overall drop in property crime offsetting the increase in each Part I violent offense category. 

In comparing the 2016 Part I crime rates with historical data for Arizona, the Violent Crime rate increased 13% from 2015 and is the highest violent crime rate since 2008. However it is still 34% less than the highest historical violent crime rate of 715 violent offenses per 100,000 seen in 1993. 

The Property Crime Rate continues a six-year long trend of declining. At 2,978 property crimes per 100,000 it is the lowest rate seen since 1961, which had 2,969 property crimes per 100,000.

For specific violent offenses; the murder rate increased from 4.5 to 5.5, the same rate as seen in 2012; rape, reflecting a new definition, increased from 45.5 to 47.5; robbery increased from 93.3 to 101.8, just over the previous low of 99.9 in 1969 and similar to the rate of 100.3 in 2013; assault increased from 266.9 to 315.4, a new high since 2006 at 312.7.

For specific property offenses, burglary dropped from 557.5 to 544.4, reflecting a new historic low dating back to 1960; larceny theft dropped from 2235.2 in 2015 to 2168.1, reflecting a low not seen since 1963 at 2,002.1; while auto theft increased from 246.2 to 265.8, though just 4% ahead of the previous historic low of 255.7 in 2013.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery reflected on the report stating, “We saw indications last year that crime rates, especially for violent offenses, might rise from 2015 to 2016.”  Montgomery noted that MCAO began planning last year to further the Office’s approach to addressing crime and public safety in as proactive a manner as possible.  “We didn’t want to accept an increase in any crime category as inevitable, so we looked to ways we could better our partnerships with law enforcement and the community.  The Community Based Prosecution model allows us to do just that.  The number of prosecution bureaus assigned to specific geographic areas of Maricopa County will increase from 4 to 8, allowing for a more focused partnership between prosecutors, law enforcement, and business and neighborhood leaders. With our increased focus approach, we will be able to identify individuals or unique local circumstances impacting public safety earlier and not have to wait for an annual report that lags almost a year behind what we see on the ground.” 

MCAO will complete this realignment the first week of October.  No increase to MCAO’s current budget was requested to accomplish this realignment.

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