The Nebraska Crime Commission recently reviewed year-over-year crime data. Michael Behm, Executive Director of the organization announced last week that the number of crimes reported in Nebraska increased 2 percent in 2011 when compared with 2010.
In 2011, there were 53,285 crimes reported statewide. That was an increased from the 51,992 reported in 2010. These numbers only took into account the most serious categories of crime, for example, murder-manslaughter, forcible rape, motor vehicle theft and arson.
Violent crimes actually decreased overall by about eight percent. However, murders increased 20 percent (from 54 to 65 reported offenses) and forcible rape increased six percent (627 to 663). Yet several other categories saw large decreases, including aggravated assaults, which were down 13 percent.
The decrease in violent crime was offset by more reported property crimes. For example, motor vehicle thefts increased 13 percent. The number of reported vehicle thefts increased from 3,508 to 3,972. While the review did not comment on causes of the increase, it could be that more property crimes occurred because of a continuing weak economy.
According to Behm, "Nebraska's increase in property crimes differed from the national trend which showed a 0.8 decrease."
Geography also affected the crime numbers. Omaha saw the largest increase in overall reported crime with a seven percent increase or 21,161 total offenses reported in 2011. Cities in the state with populations of 5,000 to 99,999 saw a slight decrease in crime. Smaller communities reported a significant decrease in reported crime.
Source: Nebraska City News Press, "2% Increase in Crimes Reported in Nebraska," July 22, 2012.