Report: Sexual assaults in Utah increase, overall crime down

Stock image | Photo by Barbol88/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

PROVO, Utah (AP) — There were fewer crimes overall in Utah last year, although the number of sexual assaults increased for the fifth year in a row, according to a law enforcement report.

The Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification last week published the annual Crime in Utah report documenting crimes committed in 2018, The Daily Herald reported Tuesday.

The report that uses data from local law enforcement agencies says 80,622 index crimes were committed in 2018, a nearly 12% decrease from 2017.

The full report, including breakdowns by each county’s reporting agencies, can be found here.

Index crimes include 10 offenses used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to produce its annual index of national crime: criminal homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, human trafficking offenses-commercial sex acts and human trafficking-involuntary servitude.

The number of Utah rapes reported in 2018 increased by 4.5% over 2017, for a total of 1,465. In Southern Utah, Washington County shows 67 reported cases of rape, which is defined in the report as “the carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the victim, including incidents where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.” Iron County had 29 cases reported.

Hate crimes, which the report defined as a “criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, ethnic/national origin group, sexual orientation group, or disability,” also increased by almost 50%, from 35 reports in 2017 to 52 in 2018, three of which were reported in Washington County. The report stated that the totals reflect the number of victims in an incident, not the number of incidents.

Burglary, motor vehicle thefts, arson, and larceny decreased by an average of 13%. Robberies fell by 17%, and homicides decreased by 8%, the report said.

The report noted firearms were used in 40% of homicides, with 16% of deaths involving family relationships and 84% among acquaintances, strangers or those linked by a significant relationship.

More than 111,830 people were arrested by authorities in 2018, which is lower than the total number of those arrested in the past five years, the report said. Of this total, Washington County reported 6,417 arrests, while Iron County reported 1,357.

The bureau reported there were 4,633 law enforcement officers in Utah as of October 2018, including 4,276 men and 357 women.


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