ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Over the past couple of years headlines have told of carjackings and cross-town pursuits. There have been reports of murders, and non-fatal shootings, home invasions, robberies and many, many, many motor vehicle thefts.
But what does this mean in terms of cold, hard numbers?
Graphics created using data from the FBI’s Crime in the United States report provide a clearer picture of New Mexico and Albuquerque crime in 2016 – including how the state stacks up against the nation, what offenses are being committed and what trends can be seen over the past five years.
In 2016, New Mexico had the highest rate of property crime among the nations’ states, a change from last year when it had the second highest ranking in the country. Across the United States there were an estimated 2,450.7 property crimes reported per 100,000 inhabitants, a two percent decrease from the previous year.
Last year New Mexico climbed a rung to become the state with the second highest rate of violent crime in the nation, compared to 2015 when it had the third highest. Across the United States there were an estimated 386.3 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people, a four percent increase over the previous year.
As New Mexico’s largest city, Albuquerque contains about 25 percent of the population. However, more than 40 percent of crimes – both violent crimes and property crimes – occur within the city limits.
Although some categories of crimes (including burglary and rape) have decreased in recent years, most others are on an upward trend. Motor vehicle thefts increased the most, with reports of nearly 50 percent more reported stolen in 2016 over 2015.
The majority of property crimes committed in Albuquerque are larceny (defined as thefts from vehicles, buildings, or coin-operated devices, purse-snatching, pocket-picking and shoplifting).
By the end of 2016, the Albuquerque Police Department had investigated 61 murders.
The FBI categorizes violent crimes as aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murder and property crimes as larceny, auto theft, burglary, and arson.