Las Cruces – The Las Cruces Police Department's most recent annual crime statistics show 2009 was the third straight year in which the crime rate has increased.
The statistics show crime overall in the city increased 3 percent from 2008 to 2009. However, rape and aggravated assault decreased and police made arrests in more violent crimes.
Officer J.R. Stewart says a growing city and a continuing recession no doubt contributed to the increase in crime, which saw rising levels of thefts and other property crime.
The mayor and the head of the police officers union have said they would like to see more communication and community policing in Las Cruces.
Las Cruces statistics include only those crimes occurring within city limits. Figures from the Dona Ana Sheriff's Department indicate a slight decrease in violent crime.
Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.