North Dakota facing violent crime problem, attorney general says | North Dakota

(The Center Square) – North Dakota faces an “increasing violent crime” problem despite a 5% decrease in the crime rate for the most serious offenses, Attorney General Drew Wrigley said Tuesday.

The overall rate of Group A offenses, which include murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, kidnapping, and rape went down by 5%, according to the report. But many of the individual categories saw increases. There were 12,057 reported crimes against persons, nearly unchanged from the 12,060 reported in 2021.

But the report also shows an increase in most individual categories of serious offenses, including murder, negligent manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, aggravated assault and more. Violent crimes committed with firearms are on the rise and instances of individuals resisting arrest are “up dramatically,” according to Wrigley.

“Every violent criminal that gets a not long enough sentence to begin with, and then only serves a portion of it, and then goes out and commits another one of these offenses, that’s on us. That is on us because we didn’t make it mandatory that they be incarcerated,” said Wrigley.

A bill that would have made a jail sentence presumptively mandatory for those who commit violent crimes was passed by the Senate this session but failed in the House, according to Wrigley.

“It dealt head-on with violent crimes committed with firearms and people who are resisting arrest and fleeing law enforcement,” he said.

However, after receiving widespread support in the Senate, passing 41-6, Senate Bill 2107 was changed in the House to one that called for a legislative management study examining current prohibitions for possessing firearms. The bill failed in the House with 13 votes in favor and 77 opposed.

“This attorney general and this attorney general’s office, we are firmly committed to anti-recidivism measures, mental health, alcohol abuse, narcotics abuse, those are drivers of a lot of crime – especially property crime,” said Wrigley. “I pledged to support [the measures] before the session. I was asked to testify on zero of those bills. Zero.”

The report includes statistics from 53 sheriff departments, 52 police departments, ten task forces and the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Over 28,900 arrests were made in North Dakota in 2022, the report said.

Some percentage changes when comparing the rate of crimes from 2022 to the previous year appear high, but the actual number of crimes provides context. For instance, the report showed a 76.5% increase in murder from 2021 to 2022. The number of murders shows 17 murders in 2021 and 30 murders committed in 2022 – an increase of 13.

For crimes against property, bribery showed a 133% increase over the year, however, the number of bribery cases went from three in 2021 to seven in 2022.

“One thing this report will show you is our law enforcement and our communities are in the midst of very challenging times,” Wrigley said.

This article First appeared in the center square

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