TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The city of Tucson is split into six wards, each with their own council member to represent them. Tucson News Now took a look at the number of violent crimes in each ward through Oct. 31. This includes crimes like aggravated assault, rape, murder, and robbing of convenience stores. Ward 3, with 691 violent crimes, has the most of the six wards.
Tucson city council member Paul Durham, who represents Ward 3, says he thinks that the fact that his ward struggles with high rates of unemployment, poverty and a very mobile population, this leads to drugs, domestic disputes and access to weapons. All of which, when thrown into the equation, unfortunately can cause violent crime.
Durham went on to say that Ward 3 has also been hit “especially hard” by the opioid crisis.
To combat the high number of violent crimes in the ward Durham says he and the city have done a few things.
The first is the city’s work with the Arizona State University School of Social Work on a Department of Justice community-based crime reduction grant that focuses on uncovering the root causes of crime in the Oracle corridor and also on finding solutions to stop crime before it starts.
Along with that Durham says the city was recently awarded a $1.3 million grant, called Choice Neighborhoods, which addresses housing and other issues in the Oracle corridor.
Ward 3 resident Mike Mayer says he was surprised to hear that the ward has such high numbers when it comes to violent crime because it hasn’t been a part of his experience living there.
“We haven’t had a whole lot of violent crime in this neighborhood. We have had a lot of property crime," he said.
Going north to south Ward 3 stretches roughly from East Wetmore Road to East Drachman Street. Some residents say that east of First Street crime isn’t bad but once you past First Street it’s a whole other ball game.
"It’s not too bad,” Mayer says of crime in his neighborhood of Ward 3.
Following close behind Ward 3 in terms of the number of violent crimes through Oct. 13 is Ward 5 with 624 violent crimes. After that is Ward 6 with 589 violent crimes and then Ward 1 with 446, Ward 2 with 317 violent crimes, and Ward 4 with 310.