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REPORT - Violent Crime Up in Albuquerque But Convictions Down

The Court, Corrections and Justice Committee hears a report on New Mexico crime statistics on Monday.
Kevin Meerschaert
The Court, Corrections and Justice Committee hears a report on New Mexico crime statistics on Monday.

A report presented to the Courts, Corrections and Crime Committee on Mondaysays while overall violent and property crime rates in New Mexico are on the decline they are still above the national average.

Also those declines are not across the board as at least 20 communities, including Albuquerque have seen violent crime increase from 2016 to 2020.

The report from the Legislative Finance Committee states in  Bernalillo County violent crime is up 30-percent since 2014, but arrests and prison admissions for violent crimes are down 30-percent.

Las Cruces Senator Joseph Cervantes says the state needs to take a look at such numbers and find out why there is such a discrepancy and what can be done to correct it.

“(We see) more and more violent crime going up but we have fewer and fewer people being prosecuted and fewer going to prison,” he said. “You’ve got to ask yourself if the reason crime is going up is because we aren’t doing a good enough job of putting away dangerous and bad people?  That’s certainly the question we need to be asking ourselves and I think it’s a popular question in front of the public today.”       

The report also says there are still some issues that need to  be addressed including the utilization of care to address the root causes of violent crime, the Legislative Finance Committee is currently studying the issue.               

It also suggests the state consider further proposals to better connect offenders who are reentering the community with employment and housing opportunities.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.