Despite decrease in crime totals, narcotics, vehicle theft continue to rise in South Dakota

Despite decrease in crime totals, narcotics, vehicle theft continue to rise in South Dakota

“Criminal statistics help identify trends in criminal activity that assists in crime prevention and enforcement efforts across South Dakota.”

This was Attorney General Marty Jackley’s message as he released the anticipated 2022 Crime in South Dakota Report.

Every year, the office of the South Dakota Attorney General, the Division of Criminal Investigation and the Criminal Statistical Analysis Center prepare the report, a detailed breakdown of all reported crimes and arrests, and the demographics of the people who are committing those crimes, in a lengthy 200+ page report.

Total reported criminal offenses were down slightly, 1%, from last year. Arrests were also down, about 4.5%. While the total offenses were down, some offenses saw slight upticks this past year from prior years. Others are seeing consistent, year-over-year growth.

Weapons law violations, which include possessing a firearm after being convicted of a prior drug offense or violent crime, have been steadily climbing in the state year over year since 2016, and last year hit a peak.

A total of 802 weapons law violations were reported in the state last year. For reference, the year before saw 748 violations, and 2016 had only 529.

The report identified 218 narcotics offenses in 2022, about 22% more cases than were identified the year before.

Fentanyl abuse crimes continue to draw the attention of law enforcement officials across the state. The Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force seized nearly 1000 grams of fentanyl in 2022, a 216% increase from 2020.

“Law enforcement agencies statewide are aggressively fighting crime in South Dakota, and those prevention efforts in key areas are working,” Jackley said.

Motor vehicle crimes continue to be high, including a 2,195 motor vehicle thefts reported for 2022. A jump in motor vehicle thefts from 2019 to 2020 put that year at 2,207 thefts, nearly 600 more thefts than the year before. Since 2020, there have been at least 2000 motor vehicle thefts in the state per year.

Some specific crimes are seeing consistent, year-over-year decreases. Many “Group B,” or less-serious, crimes were down in 2022, and the total number of Group B crimes is down a total of 10% from the year before.

You can read the full article at the Mitchell Republic.