Crime went up statewide in 2020 according to a report from the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday, June 9.

The annual report looks at the type and number of crimes and arrests and helps state officials identify trends. This year, despite some decreases, crime overall was up.

“As in every year, the crime statistics for 2020 show some encouraging news, along with one area of great concern,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said. “The long-term rate of some of the most serious offenses has ticked up slightly in some categories and down slightly in others, but the trend seems to be that the rate may be reaching a plateau. The one area that causes great concern is homicides. North Dakota experienced 32 homicides in 2020, which is by far the highest number since these reports were first compiled in 1978, and probably ever in the state’s history. That number eclipsed last year’s homicides of 26, which was a record then.”

49,579: Number of serious crimes reported in 2020. That is up 3.6% from 47,871 serious crimes in 2019.

41.9%: Clearance rate for serious crimes in 2020, including arrests and other exceptional circumstances. That is down from 46.1% in 2019.

52%: Percentage of serious crimes that were crimes against property in 2020. Crimes against a person were 22% and crimes against society were 26%.

32: Number of homicides reported in 2020, up from 26 in 2019.

988: Number of sex crimes reported in 2020, down from 1,010 in 2019.

7,551: Number of assaults reported in 2020, up from 7,313 in 2019

950%: Largest increase in any category in 2020, for increase in welfare fraud charges from 2 to 21. Other big jumps include 500% in gambling equipment violations — from one in 2019 to six in 2020 and 700% in pocket-picking, from 2 in 2019 to 16 in 2020.

15,012: Total number of arrests for serious crimes in 2020, down from 16,287 in 2019.

4,175: Number of DUI arrests in 2020, down 13.5% from 2019.

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