Report: Overall crime up in North Dakota; biggest spikes in oil field counties - Bring Me The News

Report: Overall crime up in North Dakota; biggest spikes in oil field counties


North Dakota's attorney general said he will request an increase in funding and personnel to take on rising crime, following the release of the state's annual crime report Tuesday, Forum News Service reports.

Wayne Stenehjem detailed state statistics in a press release and at a news conference at the Capitol building in Bismarck, and broke down numbers for crimes in the state's booming oil field counties.

According to FNS, Stenehjem has requested $20 million for oil impact grants for law enforcement agencies for 2015-2017, up from $16.6 million lawmakers grants for 2013-15. In addition, Stenehjem is seeking two additional Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents to be stationed in Williston to tackle the increase in human trafficking and prostitution; and additional BCI agents for Williston, Watford City and Dickinson.

Stenehjem said in the 2013 report the state's oil-producing counties saw 23 percent spike in aggravated assaults from 2012, while aggravated assaults were up 7.9 percent statewide.

In the North Dakota oil patch, Stenehjem said Tuesday there were 346 aggravated assaults in those counties in 2013, up from 282 in 2012, the Bismarck Tribune reports. For the remainder of the state, there were 810 aggravated assaults last year, up from 789 in 2012.

The Tribune says those "oil patch" counties in North Dakota are Billings, Burke, Divide, Dunn, Golden Valley, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Mountrail, Stark, Ward and Williams.

Stenehjem stressed his biggest area of concern remains the rise in drug offenses, up 19.5 percent from 2012. According to the Tribune, Stenehjem said at Tuesday's press conference he's alarmed by the increase in methamphetamine cases.

"They're increasingly complex (cases). Meth is not coming in by the gram or ounce anymore … but by the pound," Stenehjem said.

Stenehjem said drug arrests in the oil patch counties jumped from 581 in 2012 to 813 in last year. The increase in drug arrests for the rest of North Dakota jumped 2,291 in 2012 to 2,618 in 2013.

While Stenehjem said the number of violent crimes – including murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – increased by 7.4 percent across North Dakota in 2013, there was a drop in specific categories.

“This year’s report includes some positive news as well as some areas of great concern.

On the positive side, reports show a reduction in the number of rape cases which dropped over 2 percent," Stenehjem said in a press release. "And for the first time in several years, the number of cases of driving under the influence has shown a significant reduction. The number of homicides in the state likewise went down, from 20 in 2012 to 14 in 2013."

According to the attorney general's report, North Dakota's violent crime rate has more than double since 2004, from 91.9 offenses per 100,000 people in 2004 to 215.4 offenses per 100,000 people last year.

Still, Stenehjem noted, since violent offenses accounted for less than 10 percent of the overall index offenses – and property crimes accounted for 90.1 percent – he considers North Dakota one of the safest states in the nation.

Next Up

Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen

Vikings will face Everson Griffen twice after trade to Lions

The former Vikings star was traded to Detroit for a fifth-round pick.

Jordana Green

WCCO Radio's Jordana Green diagnosed with leukemia

"I got this," Green wrote on her Facebook page.


Minnesota-based Crisp & Green adds 20 locations in four states

The four-year-old local business says it's going national

victoria burrow pizza

Fair-inspired entertainment venue opening at Mall of America

Fair on 4 will feature axe throwing, go carts and more.


Canceled: The Halloween bar crawl that no bars knew about

The dubiously organized event was planned for this weekend in Minneapolis.

covid saliva test

St. Cloud gets Minnesota's 6th COVID-19 saliva testing site

Four more sites are expected to open in the Twin Cities in the coming weeks.

burnsville center

Part of Burnsville Center is being auctioned off

More than 500,000 square feet of the mall is being auctioned off.

State Capitol

Elections 2020: Control of Minnesota's divided Legislature is up for grabs

Redistricting and responding to COVID-19 are among the issues the new legislature will have to deal with.


Rochester woman found dead in the snow after leaving senior residence

The woman left the senior living center around 2:30 a.m. Monday.

Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 10.43.19 AM

Investigation: Sprinklers could have saved 5 killed in Minneapolis high-rise fire

The deadly fire broke out at the Cedar-Riverside apartment block last November.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, October 27

Hospitalizations continue to rise quickly in Minnesota.