Besides the poor economy and abandoned homes, Las Vegas now has another major problem that has caught the attention of the FBI- homicides. Over the past 12 months, Las Vegas has seen a significant surge in homicides. FBI director James Comey has publicly stated that he is concerned about slayings in several American cities, one of which includes Las Vegas.
While the number of homicides in Las Vegas is not as high as Chicago, there have been at least 64 murders in this city. This is extremely surprising since Las Vegas appears to be a city filled with glitz and glamor. The FBI director stated that most of the homicides have occurred in underprivileged areas and are far removed from the tourist sector of the city.
“From the Las Vegas Strip, you can’t tell that 60 people have been murdered in Las Vegas this year. From the Miracle Mile in Chicago, you can’t hear the sounds of gunshots that have killed over 200 people this year,” he said.
Up till the end of May 2016, detectives in Las Vegas had already investigated 64 homicides. Comey’s remarks were promoted after national crime data showed spikes in murder in at least 40 cities in just the first 4 months of 2016. These new statistics are a cause for concern in many cities. Jamey Comey also spoke about the high murder rates in Chicago, which has seen nearly 215 homicides during the first quarter.
James Comey stated that not only is he worried about the trend of high murders in many cities but also about the fact that the rates have gone up faster than in the previous 12 months. The FBI director has urged the national media to cover these homicides to increase awareness. He also stated that many spikes in homicides were not adequately covered by the media because the majority of victims came from “particular neighborhoods” and are minorities.
So far in Las Vegas, 51 men and 10 women have been killed. The highest number of homicides involved 24 Hispanics, 22 African Americans and 15 Caucasians. The rest included Asians and one Native American. At this point last year, there were only 41 homicides, which is an increase of 56 percent.
Las Vegas police have stated that they are making headway in combating violent crime by introducing neighborhood enforcement teams and increasing police presence in the under privileged neighborhoods. The metro police are now being assisted by the FBI to tackle the crime issues and developing relationships with minorities to help combat future crime.