Violent Crimes Drop in Border Cities
Today, Usa, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Violent crime continued to fall in the largest U.S. cities along the Southwest border last year even as neighboring Mexican crime groups clashed for control of the illegal drug and human smuggling trades.
Ten of the 13 largest cities in Texas, Arizona and California closest to the Mexico border recorded reductions in overall violent crime, according to the latest FBI's Uniform Crime Report. Eleven of the 13 experienced reductions in property crime, including burglary and car theft.
While the largest of the border cities -- San Diego and El Paso - - reported declines, murders in each city jumped in 2011. Yet city officials cautioned that the rise in homicides could not be attributed to a spillover in violence from Mexico.
El Paso recorded 16 murders in 2011, up from five in 2010, the fewest since 1964. This year, the number is up to 23 killings. But police Sgt. Chris Mears said the larger numbers are within range of the average for the past 20 years.
"None of these homicides are in any way spillover violence from Mexico," Mears said, adding that a number of the homicides have involved child abuse resulting in death.
San Diego County Sheriff Cmdr. David Myers said the rise in murder there -- from 29 in 2010 to 38 in 2011 -- was largely attributed to a "flurry" of domestic-related disputes. …