According to the latest crime report Idaho State Police released this week, crime rates around the state seem to be dropping.
But, some of our local counties are seeing a slight increase. However, that's not to say those numbers give an accurate representation of what we think is really happening.
The report lists the crime rate statistics for each county in the state, and breaks that down into crime rate and arrest rate statistics for city police departments and county sheriff's offices as well.
Here is a link to a copy of the report: http://bit.ly/1qo1PnK
In Bannock County, for example, the number of offenses increased 1.1% in 2013 as compared to the previous year. The number of arrests made fell 0.1% during the same time period.
But, that number is broken-down, accounting for the Pocatello and Chubbuck Police Department statistics as well as the Bannock County Sheriff's Office.
The Bannock County Sheriff's Office shows the number of offenses increased by 22.3% but the number of arrests made also increased 56.8% during this latest time period.
Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said the number of offenses accounts for all of the crimes called in to the station, which is anything from murder/homicides and domestic violence, down to petite theft and stray animals.
But, he said overall that number looks high because law enforcement has been more aggressive with cracking-down, rather than an increase in crime itself.
"I have lived in other cities where you just don't go in that area by yourself and I don't think we have that here," Nielsen said. "Do we have our issues with substance abuse and violence? Absolutely...we're not immune. But we are able to keep a pretty tight lid on those and I think the citizens should be proud of what they have as far as law enforcement and protection."
Nielsen said he also applauds the citizens of the community for their vigilance in helping law enforcement when needed. He said he is seeing more people willing to step in and help, even if that means calling-in a drunk driver, which also helps make that offense number appear higher than normal.
The Pocatello Police Department's Lieutenant Paul Manning said the city's number of offenses only increased by 0.2% during that same time period.
Both he and Nielsen said we could see a huge drop in the number of offenses if the number of crimes of opportunity were to decrease.
"When you have 270 burglaries, and 1,400 larcenies, most of those are crimes of opportunity," Manning said. "Like we try to remind people five or six times a year, if people will lock their stuff up, we will probably see a significant decrease in the number of offenses."
Once again, to check out how your county stacks-up, here is the link to that report: http://bit.ly/1qo1PnK