Idaho saw a 3.6 percent drop in crime in 2009, which is the fifth straight year that the crime rate has dropped. However, the state had a 6.9 percent increase in violent crimes, according to data released by the Idaho State Police (ISP). Last year, there were 5,301 crimes for every 100,000 people living in Idaho.
Violent crimes make up a small fraction of offenses reported, at 3,647 for the whole state. Property crimes, crimes against people, and crimes against society, which include drug violations and gambling offenses, all dropped from 2008 to 2009.
The number of hate crimes in Idaho rose 16 percent to 35 reported incidents. Ten of the incidents were targeted at African Americans, 9 at Hispanic people, and 4 were anti-Islam.
Preliminary FBI data from across the country suggests that violent crime and property crimes decreased in the U.S. in 2009. Based on 2008 data, Idaho’s violent crime rate is the second-lowest in the western U.S., with Utah having the lowest rate.
Police reported 21 murders in 2009, with 16 them taking place in a residence. The most commonly reported violent crime was aggravated assault, and the most common month for a violent crime or other crimes against people last year was July.
Two law enforcement officers were killed last year, and 249 assaults on officers were reported.
According to the ISP data, Bannock County in southeast Idaho had the highest crime rate of any county, 41 percent above the state average, while Custer County in central Idaho had the lowest reported county crime rate. The Ponderay Police Department had the highest reported rate, and departments in large cities, including Coeur d’Alene, Twin Falls, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Boise, and Nampa all had rates above the state average.
The ISP report also includes a crime clock that lists an average of how often crimes including murder, robbery, and arson occurred last year.