Crime rate jumped 16 percent in Fargo last year, report shows


Crime is increasing in Fargo – a city that already has a crime rate higher than the national average.

The Fargo Police Department recently released a report that shows overall crime was up 16 percent in 2015 compared to 2014.

Shoplifting, vehicle theft and burglary were up by 20 percent or more.

Police told WDAY that some of the reasons for the increase can include more people living in the city, along with increased drug and mental health problems.

"A lot of those crimes are being driven by addiction issues," Deputy Police Chief Joe Anderson told KVRR. "We have made numerous arrests in burglaries, vehicle thefts around the year, and when we debrief individuals, a lot of what we're hearing is they're committing these crimes to support their habit."

Arson increased by 58 percent, a total of 19 incidents in comparison to 12 the year before.

However, robbery and gross sexual imposition were down; and there were the homicides last year compared to the four in 2014.

"It's hard to say why those are down. When dealing with homicides and crimes of passion, those are things the police won't have a lot of influence over," Anderson told WDAY.

Violent crimes are higher in Fargo than the U.S. average Inforum reports. In 2013, there were 368 crimes per 100,000 people in the U.S. In Fargo, there were 401 violent crimes reported per 100,000.

However, a lack of officers on the streets could be a contributing factor. According to WDAY, the Fargo Police Department has fewer officers per 1,000 people than the national average. The agency is constrained by a $17 million budget, the publication says.

KVVR reports the department is short 13 officers, but it has plans to add five officers a year for the next five years.

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