SD Crime Rates Increased over 9% in 2015: It’s Time to Give Victims Stronger Constitutional Rights

The news on crime in South Dakota was recently released and the results are not good. While South Dakota still has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, crimes are trending up. More than 71,000 offenses were committed in South Dakota in 2015. Of those offenses, nearly 50,000 were serious crimes.

Every year the South Dakota Office of Attorney General Criminal Statistical Analysis Center releases a report analyzing crime statistics in the state. Overall, crime rates increased 9.1% from 2014 to 2015. However, serious crimes “Group A” offenses like murder, rape, and assault, increased 12.5%. Here are some sobering facts from the 2015 report:

  • Murder increased by 35%; there were 27 homicides reported in 2015 as compared to 20 homicides reported in 2014.
  • Forcible Rape increased by 42 or 11%. There were 420 forcible rapes reported in 2015 compared to 378 reported in 2014.
  • The majority of the crimes, 37.3% or 18,472, occurred at a Residence/Home.
  • There were a total of 2,812 Burglaries reported. Thirty-seven (37%) percent of those were forced entry (1,032).
  • Almost $25 million worth of property loss was reported in 2015 ($24,975,527).
  • The number of reported arrests in 2015 for DUI was 6,427. This represents an increase of 245 arrests or 4% from the total of 6,182 reported in 2014.
  • Arrests for drug offenses increased 22.3%. In 2015, 6,818 total drug arrests were reported compared to 5,577 reported in 2014.

More crimes equal more victims. Unfortunately, in South Dakota, crime victims have very limited rights. In fact, our state has some of the weakest crime victim laws in the nation. It is time to take a stand for crime victims and pass Marsy’s Law (Amendment S) to give them the constitutional rights they deserve. Vote Yes on S in November.