Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem today released the annual Crime Report detailing crime statistics for 2019. The report is compiled from information reported by local law enforcement agencies across the state.
“This year’s report includes mostly encouraging news on the crime front, but one area of great concern. The long-term rate of the most serious offenses appears to have reached a plateau and even declined. Aggravated assaults, drug offenses, and driving under the influence are all down for 2019. The one bleak spot in the state is for homicides, which reached 26 victims, the highest number since reports have been collected,” said Stenehjem.
The state’s crime rate of 6,281.8 per 100,000 population is down slightly from the 2018 crime rate of 6,339.9. The crime rate is calculated using the Group A offenses, which include the categories of “Crime Against Persons” (such as murder/non-negligent manslaughter, rapes, assaults), “Crimes Against Property” (robbery, burglary, theft, shoplifting, and motor vehicle theft), and “Crimes Against Society” (drug violations, prostitution, animal cruelty). There were 47,871 Group A offenses reported in 2019, including:
Crimes against Persons
10,539 crimes against persons, a 2.2% increase from last year
26 homicides, compared to 17 in 2018, a homicide rate of 3.4 per 100,000 population.
Ten homicide victims died as a result of domestic violence, two of whom were infants.
Guns were used in ten of the homicides.
1,251 reports of aggravated assault (involving serious bodily injury to the victim or use of a weapon in a threatening manner), compared to 1,304 in 2018, a 4.1% decrease.
Crimes against Property
Property crimes account for 49.9% of all Group A offenses. There were 23,868 property crimes reported, up 0.1% from 23,854 reported in 2018. Approximately one-third of the $38.8 million worth of stolen property was recovered by law enforcement.
There were 83 reports of arson in 2019, a 118.4% increase from the 38 reported in 2018. In 2017, there were 61 arsons reported.
Crimes against Society
Drug/narcotic violation offenses decreased by 6.4% from 6,884 in 2018 to 6,444 in 2019. Marijuana, methamphetamine, and heroin were the top three drug types seized.
In 2019, there were 100 animal cruelty offenses, up from 82 reported in 2018. Until 2016, when the federal government created a separate offense category, these offenses were included in the “other” offenses.
Group B offenses
Group B offenses include DUI, bad checks, disorderly conduct, trespassing, and other less serious offenses. In 2019, the total number of Group B arrests reported was 16,202, a 1.8% decrease from the 16,493 in 2018.
DUI arrests decreased by 6.2%, from 5,148 in 2018 to 4,828 in 2019, continuing the downward trend that began in 2015.