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Gallup had NM’s highest violent crime rate in 2013

gallupThe city of Gallup saw a spike in violent crimes last year and had the highest violent crime rate in New Mexico, according to new numbers released Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

An Associated Press analysis of 2013 FBI statistics showed Gallup had a violent crime rate of 2,086 per 100,000 residents. That’s more than two times the rate of Albuquerque, the state’s largest city.

According to numbers released Monday, Gallup, a city of 22,000 outside of the Navajo Nation, saw a total of 463 violent crimes in 2013 — an 11 percent increase from the year before.

However, Espanola’s violent crime numbers were not in the latest FBI report. In 2012, the northern New Mexico city had the state’s violent crime rate with 2,614 per 100,000 residents.

The FBI classifies violent crime as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Nationally, the estimated rate of violent crime was 368 offenses per 100,000 people.

Gallup also had the state’s highest property crime rate at 10,306 per 100,000 residents, an AP analysis showed. Property crimes, which include larceny and auto theft, spiked nearly 15 percent in Gallup, according to FBI data.

Gallup Police Chief Robert Cron did not immediately return an email from the AP.

Meanwhile, the report said Albuquerque saw its number of violent crimes rise slightly — four percent — in 2013. The number of property crimes the metropolitan also increased around two percent.

Those small jumps come just a few years after Albuquerque experienced 30-year lows in some crime categories.

Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said he was not alarmed by the small increases. “When you look at our crime stats … (they’re) part of a nationwide trend,” Eden said. “Certain things remain stable and you see a little rise in one category.”

The city also is set to enter an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to reform its troubled police department following a harsh report into the Albuquerque Police Department use of force.

Overall, New Mexico reported a drop in both violent and property crimes but the 2013 FBI numbers had 11 less municipalities reporting numbers than in 2012.

National, the number of violent crimes in the nation decreased 4.4 percent in 2013 when compared with 2012 data, the FBI said. Property crimes decreased 4.1 percent, marking the 11th straight year the collective estimates for these offenses declined, according to federal numbers.