Tommy Wright: Democrats struggle on crime

Published 12:51 pm Friday, June 23, 2023

You can’t spin numbers like this: after a full year of Democratic-imposed pro-criminal legislation, crime is up significantly, and Virginia is a more dangerous place to live now than it has been in previous years.

It doesn’t take a report from the Virginia State Police (VSP) to know that crime in our Commonwealth is up significantly over just a few years ago. All it takes is a few minutes watching or reading local news, and it becomes abundantly clear.

That’s exactly what last week’s VSP report found. Crime, particularly violent crimes, are up significantly, both in the number of crimes committed and the rate per population of violent crime. 

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Murder is up 10%. Kidnapping is up 9%, human trafficking offenses are up 17%, and weapons offenses are up 6%. Simple and aggravated assaults are up by 6% and 4% respectively.

The victims of murder and other violent crime were disproportionately Black.

More than 76% of the victims of murder or non-negligent manslaughter in 2022 were Black, with 23% white. 

Some 47% of violent crime victims were Black, while only 18% of Virginians are black.

Why are crime rates up? Democrats changed the law to let more felons out of prison, reduce sentences, and make it harder for police to do their jobs.

During their two years in power, Democrats moved heaven and earth to make life easier for criminals. They made it harder for police to stop those suspected of a crime. They made it easier for criminals to get out of prison earlier, and they reduced sentences for criminals in a number of cases. 

Calendar year 2022 was the first full year those changes were in effect. Now we can see the impact — and it’s clear that these policies are hurting the very communities they were meant to help.

The impact was such that even progressive Democratic localities like Roanoke were begging the General Assembly to roll back the changes Democrats made.

Democrats blocked virtually every Republican effort to change course, opposing measures that would have imposed harsher sentences for fentanyl dealers who kill as well as those who commit a second crime with a firearm.

Just remember when you cast a vote in November that Democrat legislation does not support law enforcement causing crime to spike in Virginia. Every Virginian deserves to live in a safe community and House Republicans are committed on making that happen. 

I also want to take the time and thank all who came out to vote in the primary election on Tuesday, June 20th. Your continued support will be well reflected in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at or (804) 698-1061.