Annual ND crime report reveals ‘startling’ figures

North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley presenting the latest North Dakota crime statistics
North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley presenting the latest North Dakota crime statistics(KFYR)
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 4:43 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - “Startling” is how North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley describes the latest figures on crime in the state. This comes as the Office of the Attorney General released the crime statistics for the 2021 calendar year.

Wrigley says the statistics are just a snapshot, but he’s seeing trends. Crimes against persons, like murder, rape and assaults, rose from 2020 by more than 11 percent, and crimes against property, like burglary and robbery, increased by 0.6 percent. Drug and weapon violations rose by six percent.

“When you look at the crime statistics, when you look at the violent crime and personal crime increases across the state of North Dakota, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that these difficulties present a clear and very real present danger to the communities in North Dakota,” said Drew Wrigley, North Dakota Attorney General.

While many factors contribute to the findings, Wrigley says law enforcement and support agencies are working to address points of concern. He says they’ve been prioritizing budgets and working on a “violent crime legislative” package for the next session, hoping to address criminal sentencing concerns among other issues. He says BCI and tribal leadership also have taken steps to keep jurisdictions working together — especially as they fight the fentanyl epidemic.

“In my first weeks, I was the recipient of their efforts. I was able to go out when we signed the first agreement up at Spirit Lake. And I know they’ve done substantial work moving forward,” said Wrigley.

He adds the findings aren’t all bad. DUI arrests in North Dakota are down more than three percent. He says he hopes that number continues to drop since it’s a “100 percent avoidable crime.”