Almost weekly I receive a telephone call from someone considering a move to the Silver City area who has gone online to learn more about the crime rates in our community. Without a doubt, they always mention how they have read that crime in our neck of the woods is much higher than the national average.
When I get these types of calls I try to talk about all the positive attributes of the area, you know… the great weather, the scenic beauty, a small town with a four-year college, a town with commercial air service and a public bus system. I'll mention the hospital, the clinics, the various non-profits, the arts studios, the Gila National Forest, the Grant County Conference Center. But they always come back to the high crime rate. In the past, I could talk about the fact that in the past (almost four years) my wife and I had not had any first-hand experience with local crime. Well, now I can't say that. Like many of you, we have now been hit by one of the low-life pieces of scum in the area that believe stealing from others is a better way to accumulate stuff than actually working to buy the items they want. And if you are offended by me calling these people low-life scum, I'm certain you would have cringed to read the first draft of this article before I cleaned it up. So here's a warning… you should probably stop reading this article right now if you truly believe everything is fantastic and there is no problem with crime in Silver City or Grant County.
Cityrating.com states that given the trends in crime in Silver City, the crime rate in Silver City for 2017 is expected to be higher than in 2012. The city violent crime rate in 2012 was higher than the national violent crime rate average by 116.13% and the city property crime rate in Silver City was higher than the national property crime rate average by 127.84%. The source of actual data on this Silver City, New Mexico crime rate report is the FBI Report of Offenses Known to Law Enforcement for the corresponding year or years.
Sterlings Best Places website states Silver City, New Mexico violent crime, on a scale from 1 (low) to 100, is 70. Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault The U.S. average is only 31.1. Our property crime on a scale from 1 to 100 is 71. Yet the U.S. national average is only 38.1.
USA.com states "The Silver City crime rate is much higher than the New Mexico average crime rate and is much higher than the national average crime rate." One law enforcement officer told me last week that here in Silver City/Grant County, we ranked as the 3rd worst area for major crime in the state of New Mexico.
In January of 2016, ONLYINYOURSTATE published an online article that ranked the 10 Most Dangerous Towns in New Mexico To Live In. Yes Silver City made the list at the #8 Worst City In New Mexico To Live In, The article went on to say that 1 in every 14 people will fall victim to crime in Silver City.
So what can be done about it? Well there will be the usual suspects that will say I should move if I don't like the crime here. So would those same people like to see the businesses that are effected by high crime rates close and move away? Shut down Walmart, all the Dollar Stores, the Snappy Marts, Walgreens and many more mass retailers that are effected by crime and you are not left with a whole lot.
I was told first-hand how the Sheriff's Department is currently working with a staff of officers that is currently short by five individuals. None of the local governments have extra money to go toward law enforcement. And we have become such a politically correct society that it seems our judicial system is often too soft on criminals. Yep, I'm kind of hard-core, old-school when it comes to crime. If you are old enough and smart enough to plan the crime, then you are darn well old enough and smart enough to pay the consequences. Crime is bad for our town. Crime is bad for our businesses.