Crime down in Idaho, 2013 study shows

Yellow crime scene tape surronds gas station

Crime in Idaho Falls and Bonneville County was at a five-year low in 2013.

That’s according to the Idaho State Police Bureau of Criminal Identification’s annual “Crime in Idaho” report, which was released Tuesday.

Criminal offenses in Idaho Falls were down 5.2 percent and arrests decreased 7.5 percent from 2012 to 2013.

The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office reported offenses were down 0.3 percent, but arrests increased 5.1 percent.

Statewide, violent crime decreased 0.3 percent from 2012 with 3,231 violent offenses reported to law enforcement. Hate crimes were down 11.1 percent from 2012. Crimes against property decreased 3.9 percent from 2012.

Idaho has the fifth-lowest violent crime rate in the country according to the FBI’s “Crime in the United States, 2012” report.

Idaho Falls Police Chief Mark McBride credits the community’s involvement in police work as the catalyst for city’s reduction in crime during the past five years.

“Police and the community work hard together to make (Idaho Falls) a safe place,” McBride said. “We’ve got a great community and people want to keep it that way. People in the community are really involved in reporting crime, helping to resolve crime and checking in with us when something isn’t right.”

Bonneville County Sheriff Paul Wilde said an improved economic outlook helped spur the drop in crime.

“I would say the trend would be consistent with the economy coming back,” Wilde said. “When there is less stress and less pressure on people, that brings down violent crime in some ways.… People are going to work and communities are generally in better shape.”

Although the data shows Idaho might be a safer place for its citizens, the number of assaults against Idaho law enforcement officers was up 10.8 percent from 2012, with a total of 266 assaults.

No Idaho law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty last year, the report said.

Wilde said he has seen an increased danger for law enforcement officers.

“In cases where there is a lack of respect for an individual, often times there is a lack of respect for law enforcement,” Wilde said.