Assaults and DUIs on the Rise | VideoAlex Hagan | 8/8/2012
Crime is up all across the state, but the dramatic increase is in specific areas.
"While crime rate didn`t increase significantly from 2010 to 2011, it did go up in the area of aggravated assault and driving under the influence of alcohol, it went up considerably," said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
Aggravated assault cases have tripled since 2002, and DUIs are up almost 10 percent from last year.
"It`s dramatically increasing in the west and a lot has to do with the population increase in people. It means there`s more vehicles and more traffic out there," said Kyle Kirchmeier with the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
Burleigh county alone has seen a dramatic increase in DUIs this year alone along with more aggravated assaults. But now other crimes have spiked as well.
"Unfortunately, the property crimes again are up on a five year average, property crimes are up about 10 percent," said Pat Renz with the Bismarck Police Department.
And the rise only seems to be continuing this year.
"Some areas I`m hearing anecdotally that the situation so far this year is much worse than it was in 2011," Stenehjem said.
And that`s the same for DUIs.
"If the trend goes as it is now, we will surpass the 2011 numbers," Kirchmeier said.
That calls for more personnel, but there is another problem standing in the way.
"Local officials and state officials have to be ready to respond by employing additional law enforcement personnel that`s happening, but it becomes a problem when available and affordable housing is not there," Stenehjem said.
But state leaders say they are doing the best they can.
"I know how hard they are working, they need additional personnel both on the local level and on the state level to help meet the need," Stenehjem said.
No matter what, the need has to be met because crime looks to be on the rise.
The Attorney General`s office hopes to get 2012 numbers much earlier next year in order to plan accordingly on how to respond to the increase in crime.