DA says data-driven approach making huge dents in ABQ crime
October 18, 2018 05:26 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Of the 30 largest cities in the country, crime increased more in Albuquerque between 2014 and 2016 than anywhere else—a fact buoyed by statistics that Bernalillo County's top prosecutor called "simply astonishing figures."
But District Attorney Raul Torrez says change is coming.
"I wasn't sure that we were going to come before the community and demonstrate this kind of progress this fast," Torrez said.
For the first time in eight years, he said, crime is decreasing here. It's a trend that he says started in September of 2017, and which can be observed in nearly every category.
"We still have significant work to do with gun crimes and homicides, but we're making progress," the district attorney said.
He's attributing the drop to a "data-driven approach," one he says can make a huge impact the city is only just getting a preview of.
He offered up a recent carjacking at the University of New Mexico's main campus as an example. Scott Gibbs was arrested on charges of stealing a car on gunpoint, and his case was pushed to federal court.
Since July 2017, cases referred to federal court have a 100 percent conviction rate.
"We've already identified that individual as belonging to a criminal network before he was arrested, based on patterns and analysis of existing crimes and cases inside the community," Torrez said. "We are seeing, for the first time, the connections between individuals."
Everyday crime is a lifestyle that Duke City residents have come to be familiar with, with 52 percent of people saying they believe crime will impact them in the next year.
Torrez admits there's still much work to be done, but the very early stats suggest a positive trend.
"The challenge now is: Can we sustain it?"
Updated: October 18, 2018 05:26 PM
Created: October 18, 2018 04:11 PM
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