Porn Industry Raises Albuquerque Crime

Studies done in Oklahoma, Phoenix, and Cincinnati have shown that where sexually oriented businesses were established, sex crimes in the surrounding neighborhoods are unusually high. 

During a 1990 meeting of the Albuquerque City Counci1’s “Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee,” members struck down an attempt to strengthen the city’s current obscenity ordinance. Presentations made at the committee meeting included reference to the sex crime studies from other states. It did not persuade the committee. There is now evidence that where sexually oriented businesses are located in Albuquerque, sex crimes are disproportionately high. The recent release of crime statistics by the Albuquerque Police Department provides neighborhood associations and families with the ammo needed to help fend off the influence of sexually oriented businesses in their areas. The quarterly report, which is available at all public libraries, lists the actual number of crimes within each police beat, sector, and command area. It does not purport to give reasons why certain crimes are high in certain areas of the city, it simply lists numbers of crimes. However, if careful study is made of the pervasiveness of sex crimes in each city beat, and then a comparison of those numbers to the location of sexually oriented businesses, the relationship becomes quite clear. It is an unholy one.

According to the A.P.D. Crime Statistics Report, 1990 was not a good year for neighborhoods near sexually oriented businesses. Police beat number 311, which covers everything south of Central between Louisiana and Wyoming has a rape rate 220% higher than the average number of rapes for its command area. (Everything south of I-4O and east of I-25.) Reports of prostitution in the beat are 224% higher. Directly across the street from beat 311 is a proliferation of so called “adult establishments.”

Police beat 324 is good for prostitutes too. It has the highest rate—350% higher than the average for the command area. Beat 324 covers everything between Central and 1-40, and Washington and San Mateo. Invariably, where there is a high concentration of adult establishments, there is also a high concentration of sex crimes. Where there are no sexually oriented businesses, sex crimes remain in respective police beats at an average, lower level.

Sex crimes are more than rape and prostitution. There are more hideous and less serious crimes, classified by A.P.D. as “other sexual offenses.” When separating what crimes are most pervasive in what areas, you discover another interesting and scary fact. Where hard porn establishments are located, rape and prostitution are high, where soft porn establishments are located, other sexual offenses are high. Coincidence? You decide.

In 1989, there were no soft pom businesses on Eubank. During 1990, T.D.’s Showclub arrived on the scene. Generally, a topless club, T.D.’s does not reach the low that places like Madam X and Pussycat reach. That was good for the surrounding neighborhoods, but not good enough. Police beat 421, covering an area between Eubank and Wyoming and Candelaria and I-40 has the highest rate (350%) of “Other sexual offenses” for the entire command area. (Everything north of 1-40 and east of I-25.) During 1989, beat 421 had an average rate of “Other sexual offenses.” On the other side of 421 from T.D.’s is another soft establishment, Chapter II’s. The commute from one to the other is only a few minutes.

Freedom of speech is the primary weapon leveled against neighborhoods and family groups that would like to see such businesses closed down for health and crime reasons. Since, according to pornography’s supporters, the First Amendment guarantees the right to self-expression, owners of sexually oriented businesses have the right to do their trade. In the light of the relationship between sex crimes and the location of adult businesses, the question must be asked: “Whose right comes first, the sexual businessman’s right to conduct his business, or the right of families and neighborhoods to be free of crimes that may be spurned on by the existence of such businesses in their area?” Families in beats 311, 324, 421, 317, 323, 325, 332 and others would probably opt for sexual safety for their kids and themselves. Businesses in or near those beats would opt for their right to continue with business as usual. Only action by the City Council can determine which comes first.

In a day when families and government are trying to trim monetary expenses, both, families and governments should consider the cost of allowing sexually oriented businesses to flourish in Albuquerque. Aside from the impact on the sexually immature, marriages and kids, the crime factor must be considered. Surely, contemporary community standards don’t include contributing to criminal influences.

If as the Bible says, “Bad company corrupts good morals,” then bad companies also corrupt community morals.