Metro reports rise in homicides, other violent crimes

A roll of crime scene tape lays atop a Las Vegas Metro police cruiser. (File/FOX5)

Crime is on the rise in the Las Vegas Valley. In fact, it's gotten so bad the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Wednesday held a press conference to ask for the public's help.

“2015 is shaping up to be a very violent year in our community,” said Tom Roberts with Metro's Investigative Services Division.

There have been more than 250 shooting in Metro's jurisdiction so far this year, up 30 percent over this time last year.

“The first 16 days of this month, 13 people lost their lives in our community,” Roberts said.

Las Vegas police have investigated 45 homicides this year, many of them domestic.

“Family members and significant others know that there are issues in the home, but we as police don't, and so it's important for folks to bring that to the attention of the police or other advocates,” Roberts said.

There has also been a rise in gun violence. A third of the homicides police have investigated involved a firearm. Surprisingly, police attributed some of the violence to an improved economy.

“When we had the recession, we actually saw crime drop, and I think our economy is getting better and sometimes crime goes up,” Roberts said.

In response, police called for what they are calling a Season of Peace.

“We want people to come together in houses of worship, in fire stations, in places where they can come and gather and really have conversations that will lead us toward a peaceful outcome,” said Lt. Sasha Larkin with Metro's Gangs and Narcotics Bureau.

From June 8 through 15, Metro officers will meet with community members as part of Season of Peace efforts.

Police further said drug-related crimes have doubled since this time in 2014.

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