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December-16-02

Phoenix Police Worst at Solving Rape Cases

Phoenix, the sixth largest city in the country, has the worst record of solving rape cases among the nation’s big cities, reports the Arizona Republic. Citing the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, the Republic reports that on average the Phoenix Police Department catches sexual assailants less than a quarter of the time, compared to a national average of fifty percent. Police department leaders and victim advocates say one of the highest factors contributing to Phoenix’s dismal record in solving rape cases is a lack of funding, which has left sex crime units understaffed and the department in need of modernized equipment. Despite a 35 percent increase in Phoenix’s population, chief of Maricopa County Attorney’s Sex Crimes Bureau Cindi Nannetti says the city hasn’t added a detective since 1988. Add to that the fact that many jurisdictions don’t have a computer database where detectives can see patterns and share information about serial rapists, and that federal grants funding detectives to work on “cold cases” has nearly dried up. Stephanie Orr, executive director for the Center Against Abuse and Violence, says there is a “tremendous apathy” in Arizona to spend money on enforcement, education and support programs.

Media Resources: Arizona Republic, 11/2/02

   

     

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