Rape and sexual assault crimes continue to increase in Phoenix, Arizona.
Since a jump from 635 cases in 2013 to 1,006 cases in 2014, the number of these incidents has remained over 1,000 every year, the number still on the rise. In the last month, there were 125 sexual assault crimes in the Valley, 35 of those occurring in the Central City precinct of Phoenix. Since January 28, 2017, there have been 560 sexual assault cases Valley-wide, averaging at about 5 per day, according to a crime database provided by the Phoenix Police Department.
In a public poll, 56% of participants said that Phoenix streets are more dangerous than they were 5 years ago, while 44% said that they felt safer.
Jessica Jewett has lived “on and off” at the Roanoke location of Ronald McDonald house for the past 2 years, and she has noticed improvements. “I have seen a heavily homeless area in the art district cleaned up, more police patrols, biking communities, stores cleaned up… But in some areas I still won’t linger long or go after dinner time. It’s a ‘thumbs up’ for the majority with the changes I’ve seen. There is progress. The crime is pretty crazy though. Maybe I am more sheltered being in the Ronald McDonald House since it’s a children’s charity-based living area.”
There’s been an overall increase in violent crimes throughout the city, Valley, and even the country, not just rape or sexual assault cases. The area with the highest amount of violent crimes in 2016 for Phoenix occurred near Indian School Road and the I-17, according to a crime statistic map provided by the Phoenix Police Department.
Lisa Kuntze, Scottsdale local and realtor, said, “We are more isolated from violent crimes due to the demographics. To be honest, I didn’t even know there was a serial killer in Phoenix until the day he was caught. I believe that economics is a huge factor and Scottsdale isn’t typically an economically challenged city.”
As for downtown Phoenix, Sergeant Vince Lewis of the Phoenix Police Department simply stated, “It is the goal of the Phoenix Police Department to make Phoenix the safest major city in the U.S., and part of that goal is detecting and reducing violent crimes. We do this regardless of demographic, location, or status.”
Vince Lewis, Sergeant: Vincent.Lewis@phoenix.gov
Lisa Kuntze: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Jewett: (928) 232-9236