Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says North Dakota’s crime rate dropped slightly last year, but the number of violent crimes rose.
A new report provides North Dakota statistics for a number of crimes, including murder, aggravated assault and rape. It includes burglary, car thefts and other types of property crimes.
Stenehjem says the state’s per-capita crime rate dropped 1.1 percent from 2008 to 2009. The number of offenses reported by local law enforcement agencies fell from 12,850 to 12,822.
“The overall crime rate in North Dakota is still one of the lowest in the nation. The state continues to live up to its reputation as one of the nation’s safest states, and that is good news,” Stenehjem said. “As the report shows, however, there are areas of concern, including the continuing upward trend in violent crimes and especially aggravated assault.”
The number of violent crimes rose 8 percent. Aggravated assaults rose 7.7 percent. In Devils Lake alone, the number of aggravated assaults jumped from 10 in 2008 to 28 last year.
Statewide, the number of murders increased from four to 15.
Property crime accounted for 91.3 percent of crime index offenses reported. The number of property crimes decreased by 0.9 percent in 2009, with 11,704 reported compared to 11,815 in 2008. Juveniles were arrested for 39.5 percent of the property crimes. Motor vehicle thefts decreased by 3.4 percent, from 854 in 2008 to 825 in 2009. More than $11.7 million worth of property was reported stolen in 2009.
The report is compiled from information reported by local law enforcement agencies across the state.
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