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Despite downward trend, study says crime a top 10 concern among Utahns

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Posted at 9:27 PM, Aug 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-07 23:27:10-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Over the past twenty years, violent crime has dropped drastically across America and here in Utah.

However, a new study shows crime is still a major concern among Utahans.

"Fifty percent of the population say they're more worried about crime than they were five years ago, and only 28 percent of the population say they're less worried,” said Shawn Tiegen, a research director at the Utah Foundation.

The study on crime and safety is part of the Utah Priorities Project. Every election cycle, the Utah Foundation commissions a survey to ask what people think are the most important issues facing the state.

This year, crime came in seventh on the list of Utah’s top concerns. That’s despite a recent up-tick in violent crimes.

“You can see that with the first six months of last year in Salt Lake City, there was an increase in violent crimes,” Tiegen said. “And you can see that with the murder rate for July in Utah, it's the highest one-month murder rate in the last, almost, 10 years."

The most recent data in the study is from 2014. The 56 murders and manslaughter cases marked a 10 percent increase from the year before.

Still, the survey found crime is only number seven on the list of Utahns' concerns.

"We still have a lot of other priorities that are, in their minds, more concerned about, water supply and quality, air quality, healthcare, education and jobs,” Tiegen said.

Until this year, crime hadn't been a top ten concern among Utahns surveyed by the project since 2008. Health care tops this year’s list of priorities.
Click here for more on the study on crime and safety in Utah.