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Eye On Boise

Tue., July 2, 2013, 11:50 a.m.

Overall crime in Idaho fell in 2012, but violent crimes were up

Idaho’s crime rate dropped 1.5 percent in 2012, according to the new “Crime in Idaho” report, continuing a five-year decline, but the number of violent crimes – murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault - increased 5.2 percent. That was partly due to a 3.2 percent increase in aggravated assaults, which made up 77.4 percent of violent crimes. Idaho’s population increased 0.8 percent in 2012, according to U.S. Census figures.

The annual state report shows the North Idaho Panhandle had the highest crime rate in the state in 2012. That’s in District 1, which consists of the five northernmost counties. Second-highest for crime rate was District 5, the far southeastern corner of the state, which also has the second-lowest population, while the Boise area, District 3, ranked third among the state’s six regions. That’s for the number of serious crimes per 100,000 population, from murder to motor vehicle theft to drug crimes.

While overall serious crime in the state has been mostly declining for the past five years, it increased in 2011, then declined in 2012 to a point between the 2009 and 2010 levels. Total violent crime, a small subset of crimes against persons, has bounced around, jumping to a high in 2009, falling for the next two years, and then rising in 2012 to just below the 2010 level.

Among the tidbits in the report: The top five locations where violent crimes occurred in Idaho in 2012 were at residences, on roads, in bars, in parking lots, and at a school or college. Just 23.3 percent of those crimes were committed by strangers to the victims. When the state broke down the results of the crime stats into a “crime clock,” it found that Idaho saw one murder every 13.5 days, one aggravated assault every 3.5 hours, one drug offense every 1.1 hours, and one burglary every 1.3 hours. The least common crime on the clock: Bribery, with one offense every 182.5 days, followed by gambling, at one every 121.7 days. Most common: Destruction of property, happening every 49.3 minutes.

You can see the full report here, with breakdowns by specific offense, location and more. The state crime reports go into a national Crime in the U.S. report, which is compiled later; its latest figures show that in 2011, Idaho’s violent crime rate was the 6th lowest in the nation, at 200.9 per 100,000 residents. The only states with lower rates were, in order, Virginia (196.7), Utah (195), New Hampshire (188), Vermont (135.2), and ranking lowest of all, Maine, at 122.1.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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