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June 27, 2019

Media contact: Liz Brocker (701) 328-2213

BISMARCK, ND - Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem today released North Dakota’s crime statistics for 2018. The crime report is compiled from information reported by local law enforcement agencies across the state.

“This year, as always, there is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that overall, the crime rate is level and property crimes still account for half of all crimes. The bad news is that drug arrests are up and again this year, reports of aggravated assault are up,” said Stenehjem.

The state’s crime rate of 6,339.9 per 100,000 population is down slightly from the 2017 crime rate of 6,373.9. 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).

Group A offenses

In 2018, there were 48,188 Group A offenses reported by local law enforcement agencies, including:

  • 10,310 crimes against persons, a 5.3% increase from last year
  • 17 homicides, compared to 12 in 2017. Viewed over twenty-year period, the state averages 13 homicides a year.
    • Twelve homicide victims died as a result of domestic violence, including four infants and three children.
    • Guns were used in nine of the homicides, including the three children.
  • 1,304 reports of aggravated assault (involving serious bodily injury to the victim or use of a weapon in a threatening manner), compared to 1,216 in 2017, a 7.2% increase.
  • Property crimes accounted for 49.5% of the total Group A offenses reported in 2018. Law enforcement reported that only one-third of the $39.3 million worth of stolen property was recovered.
  • Drug arrests increased 7.4%, from 5,078 to 5,455 in 2018.
  • There were 598 reports of identity theft, a 53.7% increase from the 389 reported in 2017. This is only the third year the offense has been separately reported. There was a 104% increase in reports of computer hacking, from 22 in 2017 to 45 last year, and a 37.7% increase in reports of wire fraud.

“Unfortunately the statistics for identity theft, and computer and wire fraud offenses don’t reveal the full extent of the problem, because we know that the majority of victims don’t come forward. For that reason, my office works with local law enforcement, the AARP, and other community groups, to provide prevention and awareness information to help people to identify the warning signs of a scam before they become a victim,” said Stenehjem.

Information about common scams is available on the Consumer Resources page of the Attorney General’s website.

Group B offenses

Group B offenses include DUI, bad checks, disorderly conduct, trespassing, and other less serious offenses. In 2018, the total number of Group B arrests reported was 16,493, a 7.6% reduction from 2017.

  • DUI arrests dropped by 8%, from 5,597 in 2017 to 5,148 in 2018.
    • DUI arrests comprised 15.6% of all arrests, down from 22.6% of all arrests in 2012, before the legislature enhanced DUI penalties.

Last year, Stenehjem’s office rolled out the online TOPS Program, which displays colorful graphs and diagrams detailing statewide crime statistics and crime trends for the past eight years. 

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