SALT LAKE CITY — Just three months after saying crime was up in Utah, the latest report from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification now shows crime is down in the Beehive State.
BCI released crime statistics for 2017 on Wednesday, based on data collected by 130 agencies across the state. Overall crime was down 5.38 percent from the year before, according to the bureau's report.
The new data comes on the heels of a report just months ago stating overall crime from 2015 to 2016 increased by less than 2 percent in Utah, but violent crime rose more than 17 percent in 2016, including a dramatic 42 percent jump in homicides, and a 19 percent increase in aggravated assaults during that time.
In May, BCI released its Crime in Utah report for 2016 after several years of delay due to an overhaul of division's database. Once that was completed, the Department of Public Safety expected it would quickly catch up on more recent crime statistics and resume the quarterly reports the bureau had issued for many years.
According to the latest statistics for 2017, violent crime in Utah was down 8.31 percent from the previous year, including a 2.6 percent drop in homicides and a 14.66 percent drop in aggravated assaults. The only exception was an 11.36 percent increase in rapes, the bureau reported. Utah's murder rate made a significant jump in 2016, marking a 10-year high.
Guns were used in nearly 60 percent of all homicides reported in Utah in 2017, the report states.
Also of note, the number of hate crimes reported in Utah rose from 57 in 2016 to 75 in 2017, or nearly 32 percent.
The majority of people arrested for investigation of homicide in 2017 were between the ages of 20 and 24, but the majority of victims were under 15 years old, according to the report. More victims of homicide were killed on Sunday than any other day of the week, the report states.