SALT LAKE CITY — The 2020 "Crime in Utah Report" released Tuesday showed that while overall crime is trending down, the numbers of violent crimes are increasing.
Nowhere is the rise in violent crimes more apparent than the 44% increase in homicides in 2020, the highest numbers in Utah for at least the last 20 years. However, the Utah Department of Public Safety points out that the 3.1% rate of homicides per 100,000 is less than half the national rate.
“2020 is a little bit of an odd year, the biggest takeaway I guess something to be grateful for is Utah’s trends do match what happened nationwide in just an unprecedented year,” said Mandy Biesinger, Field Services Supervisor with Utah BCI.
Just over 79,000 index crimes were committed in 2020, an increase of 5.69%. Index crimes include:
- Aggravated assault
- Motor vehicle theft
Rape was the only violent crime that decreased from 2019 to 2020, with a decrease of 10.06%. Violent crimes are made up of homicides, robberies and aggravated assault cases.
Oddly enough, while crimes committed increased, the number of actual arrests was down over 20% from the previous year.
The report's "Crime Clock" showcases how often crimes occurred in Utah, although it does not represent true regularity, it "represents the annual ratio of crime to fixed time intervals," according to the department.
“As a Utahn, you know I care about this data because this is my community my home state, is it nice to know that while we have some of these increases, we are on trend with the nation so Utah is not any less safe,” added Biesinger.