LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A violent 4th of July weekend with shootings around the valley is bringing some concerns about safety. Is violent crime on the rise? Despite the headlines, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police say the numbers are painting a different picture.
Nine people shot in a North Las Vegas shooting, Sunday night. A LVMPD officer injured after being shot while arresting a man. They’re some of the violent incidents seen over the Fourth of July weekend in the valley. There have also been hundreds of shootings across the nation during that same time. Adam Coughran, a former police officer with two decades of experience believes mental health related to the pandemic may play a part.
“They’re manifesting themselves in suicides. By violent encounters. By polarization and emotions running high.”
He says as places reopen; it does give a greater chance for bad actors to strike.
“We’re seeing more people out. Those crimes of opportunities are happening again,” he said.
He says the summer typically does see higher crime rates, as more people go outside mostly to seek relief from the heat.
“All the places you might expect to see some type of violent crime occur…people are re-frequenting. Businesses are open again,” Coughran said.
While this weekend's crimes may have been startling, overall violent crime is down around 10-percent, according to LVMPD’s latest report. But homicides are up more than 68 percent from 2020. Coughran says crime numbers will eventually stabilize.
“The violence that we’re seeing, at least in the short term is going to continue until at least people get used to the new normal of society,” he said.
He also says security in places like the Strip is quite robust, and visitors should feel confident about their safety there. Coughran says people should just keep an eye if they suspect there’s any trouble.”
“Victimization can often be prevented just by being aware of our surroundings and understanding what’s going on,” he said.