Each year, the Idaho State Police paint a picture of crimes committed throughout the state in a document hundreds of pages long.
The numbers cover everything from misdemeanor offenses to violent crimes.
The report can show law enforcement in what areas need more focus, as well as give insight into a specific area’s crime rates for folks looking to move there.
But the statistics aren’t always as cut and dry as they appear on paper.
“Statistics can sometimes be really hard to decipher,” said Lt. Chris Weadick of the Idaho State Police.
Overall, the picture is rosy. Reported crimes against person in 2011 are the lowest they have been in five years, decreasing from 21,000 in 2007 to well under 18,000 in 2011.
But look at Bonneville County. IFPD and the sheriff’s office report a 4 percent increase in overall crime.
“Let’s just say you find a large city with 1 million people,” said Sgt. Jeff Edwards of the Bonneville Sheriff’s Office. “And you look at their crime rate. We’ve got in our county 100,000 people. You’re going to see some very similar crime trends.”
But Edwards said some trends are shocking.
In 2011 Bonneville County’s murder rate jumped about 600 percent, “all because of one person who made that increase by four,” said Edwards.
He was referring to last year’s murder-suicide of the Kern family in Ammon, and the Christmas-day killing of 20-year-old Buck Garner in the same city.
There are thousands more statistics in the report, which can be found at http://www.isp.idaho.gov/identification/ucr/crimeinidaho2011.html.