Reported Crime in SD Remained Level in 1999
(Pierre) – Attorney General Mark Barnett today released the 1999 Crime in South Dakota report, indicating total crime numbers remained at nearly the same level as in 1998.
"I’m pleased that South Dakota’s crime rate has not grown," Barnett said. "We all want and expect safe streets and safe communities in which to raise our children."
In 1999, there were a total of 16,511 index crime offenses reported. These numbers were provided by 80 participating law enforcement agencies, representing 78% of the state’s population. Index offenses include murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. The report indicates some reduction in property crimes and a slight increase in violent crimes. The property crimes of burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft represented 93.5% of the state’s total crimes.
The biggest change was the increase of murder in 1999 (17) from 1998 (8).
Total arrests for 1999 (34,959) were down slightly from 1998 (35,828). Adult arrests increased slightly in 1999 (26,481) from 1998 (25,531), while juvenile arrests were down 17.7% in 1999 (8,478) from 1998 (10,297).
A new section in the report features more comprehensive data resulting from the use of the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Nationwide, crime reporting is shifting to this new data collection system developed by the FBI, which not only details the offense but includes information regarding the victim as well. Sixty-one South Dakota law enforcement agencies have converted or begun using the NIBRS system to report data. New data examples in the 1999 report include: primary location of offense; victim data by age, gender, and race; suspected usage by offender; victim injury type; and victim/offender relationship by crime type.
"Using NIBRS is finally starting to pay dividends," Barnett said. "We are now beginning to receive more complete data from local law enforcement agencies, which will continue to help us fight crime."