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North Dakota Reports Crime Up in Nearly Every Category - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

North Dakota Reports Crime Up in Nearly Every Category

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BISMARCK, ND – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem released on Tuesday North Dakota's crime statistics for 2012. The annual Crime Report is compiled from information reported by local law enforcement agencies across the state.

"It is a concern that crime is up in nearly every category. Although the number of crimes is up, so is the state's population," Stenehjem explains. "It's important to note that nine out of every ten crimes reported were property crimes, such as theft from a motor vehicle and shoplifting. At less than ten percent of all crimes, North Dakota's violent crime rate remains among the lowest in the nation," said Stenehjem.

Total crime index offenses increased by 7.9% with 14,866 offenses reported by local law enforcement, compared to 13,778 reported in 2011. Crime index offenses include the violent crimes of murder/non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and property crimes such as burglary, theft, shoplifting, and motor vehicle theft.

  • Violent crimes comprise just 9.8% of the total index crimes reported in North Dakota, a rate that has remained fairly steady for the past five years.
  • The state's crime rate of 2124.8 per 100,000 population is one of the lowest in the nation. When adjusted for the temporary population in the oil-producing counties, the state's crime rate drops to 2055.0 per 100,000 population.
  • Violent crimes increased by 7.2%, from 1,353 in 2011 to 1,451 in 2012. More than one-half of all violent crimes were reported as cleared by arrest or exceptional means. 
  • Reports of aggravated assault increased by 3.0%, the lowest rate of increase in the past nine years. There were 1,071 reports of aggravated assault in 2012, compared to 1,040 in 2011. By definition, aggravated assault involves serious bodily injury to the victim or offender uses or displays a weapon in a threatening manner.
  • The number of aggravated assaults reported in the oil field counties increased by just 1%, from 280 in 2011 to 282 in 2012.

There were 20 murders in 2012, up from 15 in 2011. North Dakota's low rate of homicides and relatively small population can result in significant fluctuations from year to year. Homicide comprises only 0.1% of crime index offenses.

Viewed over the past twenty years, the state has averaged about 11.5 homicides a year. In 2012, 14 victims were male. Six homicides were as a result of domestic violence incidents; of those incidents, one of the victims was a child.

Property crime, which includes burglary, larceny/theft, and motor vehicle theft, accounted for 90.2% of crime index offenses. The number of property crimes increased by 8% in 2012, with 13,415 reported in 2012 compared to 12,425 in 2011. More than $22.2 million worth of property was reported stolen in 2012.

  • Motor vehicle thefts increased by 20.7%, from 854 in 2011, to 1,031 in 2012. The average value per motor vehicle theft increased from $8,114 in 2011 to $8,382 in 2012.
  • Burglaries decreased by 1.2%, from 2,227 in 2011 to 2,200 in 2012. More than 47% of burglaries involved forcible entry. More than $3.4 million worth of property was reported stolen in burglary incidents in 2012.

The state also tracks and reports drug and alcohol offenses, which are not crime index offenses. There were 7,322 DUI arrests in 2012, compared to 6,600 arrests in 2011, an increase of 10.9%. DUI arrests account for over one-fourth (27%) of all adults arrested in 2012.

Juveniles accounted for 17% of total arrests and 24.8% of crime index offense arrests.

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