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Mesquite Crime Rate Stays Low

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The following is an article from the
Mesquite Local

Crime Down In Mesquite

By Morris Workman





With the recent spate of crimes, including an alleged rape, a gas station holdup, and heroin busts, it would be easy to assume that the crime rate is up in Mesquite.


In fact, the rate is down.


According to Mesquite Police Department statistics, crime rates in the first seven months of 2008 are actually down about 20% compared to the same period in 2007.


According to the statistics reported under the FBI’s “Uniform Crime Report” (UCR) program, there were 341 UCR crimes committed from January to July in 2008, compared to 426 UCR crimes in the first seven months of 2007.


UCR crimes also referred to by the state of Nevada as “index crimes,” include murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.


While the number of actual crimes committed in the city is down, the Mesquite Police Department’s “solved” rate is up nearly nine points.


In 2007, the department solved or “cleared” 196 of those UCR crimes for a “cleared rate” of 46%.


This year, more than half of the crimes have been solved, with the department boasting a “cleared rate” of 55%.


According to MPD spokesman Robert Everett, part of the credit for the lower crime rate and higher cleared rate goes to the “MORE Cops” initiative which Clark County voters passed two years ago.


Using money from that ballot initiative, the Mesquite Police Department was able to add an extra detective to the department’s investigative unit.


With more detectives available to spread out the workload and spend more time on cases, the department’s cleared rate has gone up.


But even in 2007, the department boasted the highest “cleared” rate of any other municipal police department in the county.


According to the Nevada Department of Public Safety, which uses a different crime reporting formula, Mesquite’s “cleared” rate was 29.94% in 2007.


By comparison, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department’s cleared rate was 16.24%.


The Henderson Police Department ended up with a cleared rate of 21.31%, while Boulder City’s rate was the worst at 13.5%.


Of course, the small community of Boulder City only had 200 reported index crimes in 2007.


Mesquite’s overall crime rate also came in lower than the state average.


According to NDPS, the average crime rate in the state is 432.2 crimes per 10,000 citizens in 2007.


The NDPS crime rate for Mesquite in 2007 was 250.7 crimes per 10,000 citizens.


In Las Vegas, that rate was double, at 502.3 crimes per 10,000 citizens.


The highest crime rate in the state belongs to Reno, where the 2007 statistics showed 510.9 crimes per 10,000 citizens.


While the total number of crimes and the crime rate in Mesquite were impressive in 2007, observers claim that the number is likely to go up for all of Nevada in 2008, as the crumbling economy takes a toll.


According to Everett, crime rates are traditionally higher during difficult economic times.


But with Mesquite continuing to beat the state averages in both the number of crimes and the cleared rate, the small border town will continue to provide a safer environment.

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