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Report: Drug arrests, assault reports up in North Dakota

June 27, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A new report released Thursday finds drug arrests and aggravated assault reports increased last year in North Dakota, state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said.

“This year, as always, there is some good news and some bad news,” Stenehjem said after unveiling North Dakota’s crime statistics for 2018.

The research shows that overall the state’s crime rate is level and property crimes still account for half of all crimes. But it found that reports of aggravated assault grew 7% in 2018, to more than 1,300. Drug arrests also rose 7%, to 5,455 last year.

North Dakota reported 17 homicides in 2018, compared with 12 in 2017. Twelve of last year’s homicide victims died from domestic violence, including four infants and three children. Guns were used in nine of the homicides, including the three children.

The state averages 13 homicides a year. The most homicides reported in a single year in the last two decades was 22 in 2015.

Reports of computer hacking and identity theft rose dramatically, by 104% and 54% respectively. Wire fraud jumped 38%. Numbers for those crimes can be misleading because they usually go unreported, Stenehjem said. He his office works with numerous groups to help people identify the warning signs of a scam.

Drunken driving arrests fell by 8%, from 5,597 in 2017 to 5,148 in 2018.

The report is based on information provided by local law enforcement agencies across North Dakota.

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