01.04.2023 0

Violent crime up 55% in Arlington County since 2019, 3.5% in Fairfax since 2020 after Soros prosecutors went on the job

By Robert Romano

Violent crime in Northern Virginia has increased dramatically in the past few years, with reported violent crimes up 55 percent in Arlington County (outside of Washington, D.C) since 2019 and 3.5 percent in Fairfax County since 2020, according to the latest data compiled from the FBI’s in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) through 2021.

This follows a national trend where overall, violent crime in the U.S. increased 27.6 percent nationally in 2021 alone from 2020. That’s a pretty bad number.

And one of the biggest factors may be the willingness of local prosecutors backed by billionaire George Soros to do their jobs, says Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares.

In an Oct. 2022 oped for the Richmond Times Dispatch, Miyares wrote, “The prosecutors from the Office of the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney — over the objections of the victim and her family — reached an objectively inadequate plea deal with the perpetrator. He only received 17 years in prison and could be out on parole in just nine years. He was eligible for a life sentence.The situation was so gut-wrenching that the judge told the victim her ‘government had failed [her].’”

Miyares added, “This lackluster approach to fighting crime — to prosecuting child sex offenders — is hurting our community. As the chief law enforcement officer for our commonwealth, I will not stand quietly.”

Fortunately, there’s a fix being offered by Virginia Republicans in the Assembly, Miyares noted: “Our efforts to ensure that victims are supported and criminals are prosecuted will continue, which is why I will work with members of the General Assembly to reintroduce commonsense legislation to allow my office to have original jurisdiction in prosecuting violent sex crimes against minors.”

The problem is that under state law, the prosecution of most violent crimes are left solely up to the local Commonwealth Attorneys, such as Steve Descano in Fairfax County and Parisa Dehghani-Tafti in Arlington County. The Attorney General does not have authority under the law to prosecute those crimes from Richmond, resulting in inconsistent application of the law depending on which county a resident lives in.

The bill HB 1198, passed the Assembly very narrowly, 51 to 48, but then was blocked by Virginia Senate Democrats. But this year, Miyares is planning to introduce the legislation again.

“The Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney has routinely failed victims of violent crime and mishandled juvenile sexual assault cases, which is why I will work with the legislature to see this legislation reintroduced,” Miyares said.

Fairfax Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano fired back, stating, “Miyares is simply seeking to obstruct efforts to build a more effective, equitable, and just system and instead return to the failed ”tough-on-crime” approach that did little to improve community safety and fueled mass incarceration… Not in my community and not on my watch.”

With the battle in the state legislature continuing—and more gridlock—the temperature on this issue will likely continue rise with all of the Commonwealth Attorneys and the State Senate all facing reelection 2023. Ultimately, it will be up to the people of the Commonwealth to decide how they want the law to be enforced, and violent crime rising, starting in the more urban areas like Arlington, it’s time to start paying attention.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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