There’s been a striking rise in the number of violent crimes in Metro’s jurisdiction this year compared to last year.
Take murders for instance: They’re up 91 percent. Sexual assaults rose 20 percent; robberies are have increased by 25 percent, and aggravated assaults are up 24 percent.
As far as murders are concerned, the violent crime is up significantly in three areas of town.
In downtown Las Vegas there have been eight murders, so far this year, that’s a 100 percent increase from last year. In the southeast part of the valley, the homicide rate is up 133 percent and near the Bolden area command, which includes parts of historic west Las Vegas, the homicide rate is up an alarming 800 percent.
Ben Hearon makes his living selling his Soul D-Licious spices in historic west Las Vegas. Hearon has lived in that area for 15 years. He says he thinks the economy affects skyrocketing homicide rate in that part of town.
“It’s because the economy is changing,” Hearon said. “Prices are going back up.”
So far this year, there have been nine murders in west Las Vegs.
Some residents feel Metro Police are focusing on the wrong things.
“Instead of going to the houses that have people coming and going buying and selling drugs or the prostitutes that are walking up and down the street — you know, the people who are causing issues — they’re after the people who are working jobs who aren’t doing nothing,” said Aaron Hicks, a resident in west Las Vegas.
However, Metro said the spike in homicides and violent crimes is something they’re actively addressing. The department says it’s not only adjusting the number of officers on the streets, but they’re also paying closer attention to where they patrol.
“Every day we’re constantly looking at crime and crime trends in the valley. It’s definitely something that we look at on a regular basis, and we make adjustments as we go,” said Tom Roberts, Assistant Sheriff for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.