Rural Crime – Property Crime in the State of Arizona

Gathered from the standardized crime statistics accumulated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation show the magnitude of Arizona’s serious crime problem. The rates of violent crimes such as rape, robbery,

murder, and aggravated assault has elevated in Arizona and this increase can be due to the population growth and immigration problem this state endures. It is often believed that rural areas are crime free, however this insight is inaccurate, even though rural areas do appear as a place of safety in relation to large urban communities crime rates. The concern of the assessment of rural crime is that different people looking at the same facts are reaching different conclusions. Statistics on both the national and state level indicate that rural areas are nearly always lower then city crime rates. Yet, rural areas do have more crime then they had in the past and these crimes are serious. The characteristics of crime in America are changing as well as the way the crime issues are being confronted. The division between the citizens and the police in the 1960’s is when crime rates rapidly went on the rise. In the 1970’s a range of prevention programs were developed in response to the rise in crime rates.

The 2006 Federal Bureau of Investigation crime report indicates property crimes are the highest committed crime in both Arizona’s rural and urban areas. Throughout Arizona history property crimes have always been a central concern due to the rapid increase over the past few years. Property crimes refer to fraud, embezzlement, burglary, larceny, forgery, motor vehicle theft, arson, as well as shoplifting, pick pocketing, and counterfeiting. Over time the theories and explanations concerning the fluctuation of property crime changes in a given society or why offenders commit specific property crimes changes significantly as well, however the increase of property crime over the last few years in Arizona seems to be related to immigration and poverty issues in our border state. “Perhaps as high as 80% of the violent crime in Phoenix area involves illegal aliens (according to Chief Hurt and Mesa police violent crimes response team)”(2).

“The Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Victim Services is a comprehensive, service-oriented unit established to promote and facilitate justice and healing for Arizona’s crime victims and to provide state and local governmental assistance in ensuring crime victims’ rights and access to justice.” (3). Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Crime Victim Services Unit provide a number of programs for a variety of crime victims such as The Elder Affairs Program, Gilbert youth & Adult Resources, and Mesa Police Department Victims Service unit are just a few of the programs listed on their site. Safety, healing, justice, and restitution are entitled to all victims of a crime. The Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Crime Victim Services Unit has a mission to successfully manage support funds of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) by guaranteeing services that are available and suitable to victims of crime, and enhancing the liberation of services in the course of training opportunities, technical assistance, and upholding a range of care for all victims in all communities. The programs that are listed on the Arizona Crime Victims Website are located all across the state and provide support for a range of crimes. The majority of these programs assist victims with the criminal justice process, social services, victims’ rights, and advocacy groups.

Table four of the preliminary semiannual uniform crime report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows that property crime is the highest reported crime in both rural and urban areas of Arizona, however the report shows that the four higher populated cities have all decreased their property crime rates from 2005, while the three lower populated cities have had an increase in their property crimes. As I stated above rural areas are seen as crime free, yet the FBI’s uniform report shows that rural areas have increased in certain crimes. Though Arizona provides a vast amount of victim services the majority of those services are in urban areas. I think that rural area community members need to get together at there council meetings and fight for the victims services and positive programs such as the Boys & Girls Clubs be brought to there community. Victim services are very important in all cites, however it is also vital that both rural and urban areas have entertainment, events, and programs for both upper and lower class to participate in so they fill their days positive events so citizens can stay out of trouble.


Illegal immigration and crime


(3) Attorney General’s Office of Victims Services

(4) Boys & Girls Clubs of America

(5) SLWP Research & Essay