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Weekend’s events a shock; Perspective on the city’s crime rate

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NEWS ANALYSIS

Editor’s note: Crime isn’t part of our charter here, but growth is. For coverage of this weekend’s events, we suggest your local television newsroom or newspaper site for updates.

The Boise area had a difficult weekend.

According to police, a Los Angeles man stabbed nine people – including six children attending a three-year-old’s birthday party near State St. and Wylie Ln. Some of those stabbed were refugees. 

Then on Sunday, a Meridian Police Officer was shot in the leg – and a manhunt ensued for two suspects.

In an overheated national political climate and a torrid discussion of growth in the Boise area, it is easy to worry that crime is spiking and that our area is changing is so fast we can’t keep up.

A look at the FBI’s uniform crime statistics for the City of Boise does show a slight uptick in the crime rate over the past few years, but rates are still significantly lower than the early 2000s in the City.

Boise Violent Crime Rate

Crimes per 100,000 residents. Source; FBI UCR

The numbers for 2017 haven’t been released, but the 2016 rate was 244 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Violent crime includes murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. 

The property crime rate, which includes burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson has seen a significant downward slide since the turn of the century. In 2000, there were 3,765 property crimes of this type per 100,000 Boiseans, higher than the national average. In 2016, the rate was 1,770 per 100-000 – a drop of more than half. The property crime rate is also now lower than the national average, despite a steady decline in that average as well.

Property Crimes

Crimes per 100,000 residents. Source; FBI UCR

The crime rate for a city or metro area can certainly change – and growth can drive that change. But Boise has been growing steadily for nearly a century – and even while it can feel like things are changing rapidly, it’s important to keep an eye on long-term trends.

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Don Dayhttp://linkedin.com/in/donday
Don has been covering news in Boise for 20 years. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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