A mixed bag in the statewide crime statistics report for 2013.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says murders, rapes and DUIs were down from 2012. But he says aggravated assaults are up, as are property crimes. Stenehjem says his biggest area of concern right now is the nearly 20 percent increase in drug cases.
"The problem that we're seeing with the drug cases in North Dakota is that they are increasingly complex," Stenehjem told Bismarck reporters. "They tend to involve much more amounts of illegal drugs."
Stenehjem says methamphetamine is a big problem.
"It's coming in, not by the gram or the ounce as it once did, but by the pund," said Stenehjem. "It's typically being transported by individuals who, almost without exception, are heavily armed."
Stenehjem says he’s also concerned about the increasing numbers of human trafficking and prostitution arrests.
Stenehjem says he will be asking the next Legislature to increase the amount of money being provided for local law enforcement grants. In 2013 – the Legislature appropriated $16.6 million for those grants – and Stenehjem says he plans to ask for around $20 million.
"I also have been surveying law enforcement, and asking what their needs are," said Stenehejm. "And the answer that I'm getting is, 'We need more personnel.'"
Stenehjem says the grant program should include assistance in hiring officers -- as well as helping to provide housing for the officers.
Here is a link to charts showing 2013 crime statitsics: