The Maricopa Police Department released crime figures last month for 2021. The numbers are largely the same as 2020, with a few exceptions.
Violent crimes – homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – were up by a total of 34 crimes. There was one murder in the city. Aggravated assaults accounted for the increased overall numbers, as they nearly doubled, from 58 in 2020 to 106 last year. Robberies were down from nine to six, and rapes were cut in half, from six to three.
There was a dramatic decrease in property crimes last year. Defined as commercial or residential burglary, theft, theft from a vehicle and stolen vehicles, those crimes decreased by a total of 140.
With people returning to work after the lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traffic offenses were elevated. Collisions and traffic stops were each up by nearly 30% each.
The crimes are all reported using the Universal Crime Reporting (UCR) statistical method. The department also compiled data using the National Incident Based Reporting System, (NIBRS). Those numbers will be available later this year. 2021 was the final year that the department will use the antiquated UCR method.
There were 17 “use of force” incidents in 2021, down more than 25% from the 2020 total of 24. He defined use of force as any time an officer uses a method other than verbal compliance to get cooperation, such as using a taser, a takedown, or constraint.
The demographics of those upon whom force was used showed that 82% of the time force was used against males and 18% against females. The racial breakdown was as follows: White 52%; Black 18%; Hispanic 18%; Native American 12%; unknown race 5%; and Asian and Pacific Islanders both 0%.
This story was first published in the February edition of InMaricopa magazine.