Alaska's violent crime rates climb from 2017 to 2018

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Crime in Alaska is a complicated issue, to say the least. The state's uniform crime reports for 2018 have been released -one from the FBI and another from the Alaska Department of Public Safety- and it looks like crime rates are down from 2017 overall, but the primary problem continues to be violent criminal offenses: murder/manslaughter, rape, assault, and robbery. These crimes are still on the rise. Last year, these offenses committed at a rate of one new violent crime per hour according to the state.

Taking population into consideration, Kotzebue was plagued by violent crimes more than any other community in Alaska in the last year- suffering 106 recorded incidents despite being a community of less than 4000.

Nome, population 3,874, recorded 7 rape cases in 2017. In 2018, that number ballooned to 39. The FBI has noted that changes in the reporting processes of state and local agencies should be taken into account and that 2018's totals are not comparable to previous years' data; however, the trend of increased rape cases is something that's being seen in many areas of the state (838 statewide in 2018.) Anchorage went from 391 reported cases of sexual assault in 2017 to 613 in 218- an increase of 56.8% according to data from the FBI.
The Department of public safety says that across the state, sexual assault rose by 11% per 100,000 people.
Since 2004, October has regularly seen the highest occurrence of sexual assault in Alaska. In 2018, 190 cases occurred during the month of October.

FBI data also shows that property crimes (burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, arson) dropped in 2018, from 22,387 to 20,805 reported crimes. Wasilla strayed furthest from that trend, outpacing 2017's 464 offenses with 673 in 2018.

The data used in this report is available online, through the both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and The State of Alaska's web pages.

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