Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico and is known as a modern-day cultural and political center. The area used to be the dwelling of Native American Pueblos in 1540 when Europeans first entered the country. Due to the residing foreigners, Albuquerque dwellers were mostly Hispanic or mixed Hispanic-Native American in ancestry until the late 19th century. Presently, Albuquerque is widely popular for its preserved culture and ethnicity. However, due to inopportune circumstances, the city has also become known as a nest of criminals and unfortunate events.
The Rich Culture Of Albuquerque
Albuquerque is rich in Southwestern culture. It is the home of various cultures as well. Albuquerque is known as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the U.S.A. According to archaeological evidences, humans have inhabited the area for at least 10,000 years therefore making Albuquerque one the oldest established locations in America (Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d.). Its history and culture heavily influenced by the Spanish and Mexican Rule dating back more than 300 years ago are the highlights of Albuquerque culture today. Today, Albuquerque is recognized for its ethnicity in cuisine, festivities, history and cultural centers.
Albuquerque Described As A Dangerous City
Albeit rich in culture, many have described Albuquerque as a dangerous city teeming with criminals and that it is a rather a broken city, what with the poverty and crime rates skyrocketing. The stories went as far as comparing Albuquerque to TV programs showing exaggeratingly dangerous cities. The statistics have shown the conditions the city of Albuquerque is in and how significantly serious the citizens' predicaments are.
As of 2012, Albuquerque's violent crime rate was 418.2, significantly exceeding the U.S. Average of 214.0. As of 2014, there are 790 registered sex offenders in Albuquerque (city-data.com) and an estimate of 33,869 crimes in Albuquerque annually. Albuquerque's index had exceedingly surpassed that of U.S. Average standard numbers. As a matter of fact, Albuquerque has nearly doubled the national average. These crimes include murder, theft, arson, assaults and rape. According to AreaVibes, Albuquerque's index is 44% higher than the New Mexico average and that Albuquerque is safer than 5.9% of the cities in the nation.
Even the cases in Albuquerque were more disturbing than others. In September 2013, a 15-year-old boy shot his 12-year old cousin by accident thinking that the gun wasn't loaded. In 2012, a man pleaded guilty for beating his 5-year-old stepson to death. In 2013, an Albuquerque police officer was fired after being caught in sexual contact with a minor. Another case involved minors performing at strip clubs. In June 2013, a woman was sexually assaulted at knifepoint by a teenager in Bosque.
There are many cases in which gangs, drugs, and organized crime are involved. Gangs consist of only a few individuals who commit rather minor crimes that affect only a small portion of the population. More often than not, violence and gang activity is associated with illegal substances. These illegal substances are either sold to other gangs or produced by gang members themselves for their usage.
The competition for drug distribution has increased the friction between gangs, resulting to violent confrontations and further endangering the public. However, organized crime poses the greatest threat of all. It focuses on organizing illegal activities that affect a great portion of the population. These activities may focus on money-making or assassinations, but what makes these activities more dangerous is that they are more calculated and greater in number than those of regular gang crimes.
Crime Prevention Programs
Many among these felonies are violent crimes and are the most common among the offenses committed in Albuquerque. Due to the number of threats circulating in Albuquerque, it is only imperative that those in law enforcement gain proper training before being deployed for duty. It is crucial that they must stay ahead of criminals using effective defensive strategies and techniques.
There also have been crime prevention programs where a series of activities and possible solutions were applied to mitigate illegal activities. It has been recorded that there are about 2,000 participating neighborhoods in the programs. These programs aim to organize neighborhoods on a block-by-block basis (City of Albuquerque Website, n.d.). Among the focuses of the programs are general audience/organization presentations, neighborhood watch, personal safety, sexual assault and rape prevention, fraud and con game prevention, child safety, business crime prevention, and crime prevention through environmental design.
It saddens many historians and cultural activists that the rich culture of Albuquerque be tainted due to criminal activities within the area. Not only do these activities give Albuquerque a bad name, but they also endanger the populace. Today, citizens of Albuquerque and neighboring cities are continually proposing solutions that could mitigate the present predicaments. It is imperative that citizens and lawmakers be able to provide countermeasures to ensure the safety of those who dwell in the city.