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Posted on: September 24, 2018

Maricopa County Attorney Offers Perspective on New Crime Report

PHOENIX—  The FBI’s 2017 Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for Arizona was released today and reflects an overall 1.4% drop in crime in the state. While crime is down overall in Arizona for the sixth year in a row, the new report indicates a mix in other trends.   The new report, which analyzed crime data from 2017, shows the violent crime rate rose 7.9%, while the property crime rate fell 2.9%.

“This report allows us to look at statewide data year over year and assess trends to see where we can identify areas for further coordination in law enforcement,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.”

Violent crime has generally trended downward since 1993 where we saw a high of 715 violent crimes per 100,000 people, our lowest rate was seen in 2014 when the rate hit a low of 392.7 violent crimes per 100,000 representing a drop of 45.1%.   However, the past three years reflect an increase in violent crime with the new report indicating there were 508 violent crimes per 100,000 in 2017. This new data represents an increase of 29.4% since the low in 2014, but still remains 29% lower than the 1993 high.

The murder rate increased slightly from 5.6 per 100,000 in 2016 to 5.9 in 2017.  Arizona’s historic lowest murder rate was 4.5 set in 2015, while the historic high remains 10.5 set in 1994.  Rape increased to 51 per 100,000 in 2017 from 47.8 in 2016.  Robbery also increased to 106 per 100,000, up from a historic low of 99.9 set in 1969 and an historic high of 204.2 set in 1974.  Aggravated Assault rose from 315.6 in 2016 to 345 in 2017, continuing a trend of significant increases year over year since 2014. 

Community Based Prosecutors have been reviewing Aggravated Assault numbers in several of our Community Based Prosecution Bureaus to identify crime drivers and partner with police and communities to develop strategies for reducing these crimes.  One successful example is the North Central Phoenix Bureau which partnered with Phoenix Police Department and neighbors in the vicinity of 19th Avenue and Camelback.   Efforts have led to a 15% reduction in reported Aggravated Assaults over the first six months of this year.

Property crimes trended lower in every category except for a slight increase of 1.5% in motor vehicle theft to 271.6 from 267.5 in 2016.  Our historic low of 255.7 was set in 2013 while the high of 1,157.7 was set in 1995.  Overall, the property crime rate of 2,914.9 offenses per 100,000 is the lowest rate since 1960 and contributed greatly to an overall reduction in the rate of criminal offenses against Arizona residents.

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