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July 15, 2014

BISMARCK, ND – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem today released North Dakota’s crime statistics for 2013. The annual Crime Report is compiled from information reported by local law enforcement agencies across the state.

“This year’s report includes some positive news as well as some areas of great concern. On the positive side, reports show a reduction in the number of rape cases which dropped over 2%. And for the first time in several years, the number of cases of driving under the influence has shown a significant reduction. The number of homicides in the state likewise went down, from 20 in 2012 to 14 in 2013. The biggest area of concern, however, is the number of drug cases, which increased by 19.5% over the year,” said Stenehjem.

Total crime index offenses increased by 5.5% with 15,685 offenses reported by local law enforcement, compared to 14,866 reported in 2012. 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 9.9% of the total index crimes reported in North Dakota, a rate that has remained fairly steady for the past six years.
  • Violent crimes increased by 7.4%, from 1,451 in 2012 to 1,558 in 2013. Nearly one-half of all violent crimes were reported as cleared by arrest or exceptional means.
  • Overall, reports of aggravated assault increased by 7.9%. There were 1,156 reports of aggravated assault in 2013, compared to 1,071 in 2012. However, the number of aggravated assaults reported in the oil field counties increased by 23%, from 282 in 2012 to 346 in 2013.
    • By definition, aggravated assault involves serious bodily injury to the victim or offender uses or displays a weapon in a threatening manner.
  • The state’s crime rate of 2168.3 per 100,000 population is one of the lowest in the nation. When adjusted for the transient population in the oil-producing counties, the state’s crime rate drops to 2040 per 100,000 population.

There were 14 murders in 2013, down from 20 in 2012. 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 homicides a year. In 2013, 9 victims were male. Seven homicides were as a result of domestic violence incidents; of those incidents, two victims were children.

Property crime, which includes burglary, larceny/theft, and motor vehicle theft, accounted for 90.1% of crime index offenses. The number of property crimes increased by 5.3% in 2013, with 14,127 reported in 2013 compared to 13,415 in 2012. More than $33.3 million worth of property was reported stolen in 2013.

  • Motor vehicle thefts increased by 19.1%, from 1,031 in 2012, to 1,228 in 2013. The average value per motor vehicle theft increased from $8,382 in 2012 to $10,121 in 2013.
  • Burglaries increased by 20.7%, from 2,200 in 2012 to 2,656 in 2013. More than 48% of burglaries involved forcible entry. More than $4.8 million worth of property was reported stolen in burglary incidents in 2013.

The state also tracks and reports drug and alcohol offenses, which are not crime index offenses. There were 7,086 DUI arrests in 2013, compared to 7,322 arrests in 2012, a decrease of 3.2%. DUI arrests account for over one-fourth (26.5%) of all adults arrested in 2013.

Arrests for drug offenses increased 19.5 percent from a 2012 total of 2,872 to 3,431 in 2013. According to the Attorney General’s Status & Trends report, issued earlier this month, the number methamphetamine samples submitted to the crime laboratory increased by 52% last year, from 1,644 in 2012 to 2,503 in 2013. In 2013, 38% of the drug cases handled by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation involved meth. 

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