Arizona crime sees historic spike after COVID-19 pandemic

Metro Phoenix emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic a deadlier, more violent place, as homicides climbed to historic highs and the rates of violent crimes ticked upward.

Gun violence, in particular, drove the homicides to levels not seen in Phoenix since 2004. Experts believe economic stress, spikes in gun ownership and the fentanyl crisis all contributed, but warn longer-term trends are not yet clear.

And even though violent crime rates remain historically low compared with the bloodshed in the early 1970s and early 1990s, four separate crime statistics from recent years make for grim reading:

  • Arizona’s homicide rate in 2022 rose for a third year in a row, according to available data.

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