New Mexico has one of the highest property crime rates in the United States, and this has posed a huge problem. New Mexico ranks second place in crime rate in the U.S. according to the Albuquerque Journal. For every 100,000 New Mexicans, there are 3,697.1 crimes, which is right behind Hawaii. The property rate went up to 4.4 percent from 2015. For every 1,000 New Mexicans the robbery rate is 1.19. In the U.S. it’s 1.02. Sen. Michael Padilla said the root of this problem is poverty and a lack of job opportunities.
19.8% of New Mexicans are living in poverty, which is 49th in the United states. and 6.7% of New Mexicans who are unemployed which is dead last. This is definitely a huge factor as to why the crime rates are so high. Governor Susana Martinez's spokesman stated that there needs to be harsher penalties on repeat offenders, the Journal says. In 2016 alone there were a total of 6,245 violent crime and 38,528 property crimes. With the states numbers rising,the majority of the United States crime rates have gone down.
Crime has spiked every year for the past 4 years. Albuquerque police chief Gorden Eden said the reason for the increase in crime is due to a case management order that was put in place in 2015. It was put in place to get the jail population down, and to aid cases in moving more quickly. “We’re making thousands and thousands less arrests that we were several years ago and that has a significant impact on crime.”, Albuquerque Police Officers Association president Shaun Willoughby said.
Another reason police believe crime has increased is due to the lack of officers. With a low point of only 840 officers (only 20 more from how many there were in 2015) could be another reason for the crime rate. Former Mayor Berry said that the number of police there should be is around 1,000 officers but he expects to see 1,200 in the upcoming years.
Crime in New Mexico has been a problem in the recent years and with the lack of officers and the case management order things haven't gotten better. New Mexican citizens live with the constant threat of crime and it has turned into a normal occurrence in the state with no real safe haven to run to. As a state we need to have stricter laws and enforce them and we need to look out for one another as we can not create change without a full effort.