SALT LAKE CITY — Violent crime is down slightly in Utah, according to a new report from the Bureau of Criminal Identification.
BCI has released its 2009 annual report of crime statistics for the state. Overall violent crime dropped 1.5 percent in 2009 from the previous year, according to the report, including a 7 percent drop in robbery and a slight decrease in aggravated assault.
Homicide and rape, however, were up. BCI counted 41 homicides in 2009, up from 38 in 2008. An estimated 34 percent of homicides involved a family relationship. Guns were used in 63 percent of the homicides.
The Deseret News counted 48 homicides in 2010. BCI won't release its 2010 statistics until next year.
The number of hate crimes reported in Utah rose from 44 to 55 from 2008 to 2009, according to BCI. Burglaries were also up significantly in a year's time — 6 percent.
Law enforcement officials appreciate the numbers for what they are: a snapshot. But they're quick to say that it's hard to pinpoint any particular factor or factors as reasons for crime going up or down.
"It's hard to tell why crime stats go up and why they go down," said Salt Lake City police detective Pat Wilkinson. "They do over the years, and if we knew why they did, that's the million dollar question."
Officers say the reason they like these numbers is because it helps them focus on what crimes have to be addressed in their cities and helps them put officers where they're needed most.
BCI Crime Clock
On average a crime is reported every 5.43 minutes in Utah
• One homicide every 8.9 days
• One arson every 1.09 days
• One rape every 9.47 hours
• One robbery every 6.67 hours
• One aggravated assault every 2.41 hours
• One motor vehicle theft every 1.4 hours
• One burglary every 35.57 minutes
• One larceny every 7.56 minutes
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