A massive data dump of 11 million criminal offenses reported to the FBI paints a complicated picture of crime in the United States, as well as South Dakota.
In 2022, violent crime overall, which includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, dropped modestly in the U.S. Violent crime was 1.7% lower in 2022 than in 2021, the FBI said.
The data, released Monday, shows South Dakota followed the national trend, with violent crime dropping as other types of crime increased in 2022.
The FBI relies on reporting by local law enforcement agencies to compile its report on the state of crime around the country. The agency estimates its national data covers about 94% of the population. In South Dakota, 107 law enforcement agencies submitted data, covering roughly 87% of the state’s total population.
The drop brings violent crime back to pre-pandemic levels in South Dakota, though not as low as it was between 2013 and 2015.
While the nation saw a 6.1% drop in homicides between 2021 and 2022, South Dakota saw an increase, jumping from 3 homicides per 100,000 people to 4.3. Though an increase, it’s not quite the 4.5 the state saw in 2020.
The murder rate in the U.S. jumped 29% during the pandemic, which created huge social disruption and upended support systems.
Richard Rosenfeld, criminal justice professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said the drop in violence can be attributed largely to the fact that the “stresses and strains” associated with the pandemic have abated.
“By and large what we’re seeing is simply a return to something approaching normal after the big changes associated with the pandemic,” Rosenfeld said.
But on the flip side, property crimes rose in South Dakota last year. In 2022, there were 1,737 property crime offenses per 100,000 people, a jump from the 1,678 reported in 2021.
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