Crime rates in Phoenix’ Maricopa County have seen a significant decrease over the past five years, says a county prosecutor’s report quoted by the Arizona Republic. The crime rate per 100,000 people in the county decreased 18 percent from 2004 to 2008. During the same period, the violent-crime rate dropped 8 percent and the property-crime rate fell by 21 percent. The decline occurred even though the county’s population grew by nearly 11 percent.
County prosecutor Andrew Thomas linked the decrease to greater collaboration among law-enforcement agencies and toughened prosecution policies.From 2004 to 2008, the number of criminals in Maricopa County sent to the Department of Corrections increased 29.3 percent. “The lesson is obvious,” Thomas said. “More time, less crime.” He also cited a 30 percent decrease in illegal immigration over the same period, although he did not offer specific evidence showing the illegal-immigrant population decrease is linked to the decrease in crime.