Data shows increase in violent crime during summer months

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – “This is something I’ve always dealt with,” said Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina.

Medina is talking about crime heating up in the summer months. He says he’s seen this trend for years, and this year, the department took steps to prepare and more importantly try to prevent summer crime.

“We have asked our specialized units to spend as much time as possible in the field. And we’re conducting nonstop operations to help ensure that we’re part of a bigger presence, and stronger enforcement presence for this known increase during the summer months,” Medina said.

Online data shows APD handled 54 homicides between June and September in 2022: that’s 45% of the total number of homicides in 2022.

Since June 2023 to now, APD has handled 19 homicide cases, involving 20 victims: that’s 31% of the 2023 total so far.

APD has had 60 homicide cases so far this year, and there were 75 at this time in 2022.

But while we’re “lower” than last year, all it could take is a few violent days to change that.

“It’s peaks and valleys, and some months we win. We always try to win each month, we’re having lessons. Sometimes we just are unable to win it,” Medina said.

84% of homicides this year involved guns, according to APD.

Most were classified as “individual disrespect” like the recent theater shooting where people wouldn’t give up their seats. A closer look at a suspect’s age shows an overwhelming majority are young adults age 18 to 25.

“I’ve always said it, APD alone cannot reduce homicides. Homicides are a result of so many cultural issues, community issues, community resources, upbringing, education,” said Medina.

Retired APD commander and KOB public safety expert Paul Szych, said these young adults may be learning by bad example.

“They’re watching closely how the judicial system interacts with those that are older than them. When they see that slap on the wrist. When they see that release on their own recognizance, and they’re out quick, that’s sending the wrong message to them,” said Szych.

Szych said the best thing you can do to keep yourself safe is to NOT react or engage with people who may be trying to provoke you. No matter how hard it may be, he said just walk away because it could save your life.

People can check out the current Metro crime date here.