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Arizona Follows National Trend In Rising Violent Crime Rates

The FBI released its annual Uniform Crime Report on Monday, and violent crime is up in Arizona, following a national trend.

Violent crime in Arizona is at its highest rate since 2008 but it’s still significantly lower than the historical peak in 1993. That’s according to an analysis by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report released Monday.

Each year the FBI puts out statistics compiled and submitted by law enforcement agencies from across the country.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery says his office has responded to the rise in violent crime by doubling the amount of prosecution bureaus throughout the Valley. He says in October the County Attorney’s Office will increase from four bureaus to eight to tackle challenges in specific geographic areas like opioid abuse.

“We can start fashioning plea agreements that hold offenders accountable," Montgomery said, "but then mandate resource treatment near where they live because we’re more aware of what resources are available in that particular region.”

Montgomery said his office will be looking into the increase in aggravated assaults, which are at their highest point in more than a decade.

Meanwhile Montgomery says property crime in Arizona is down, with burglary and theft at historic lows.

Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.