FBI: Alaska saw big crime jump in 2016

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 14:37

Alaska’s crime rates went up significantly in 2016 in Alaska, according to statistics released Monday by the FBI.

According to the bureau’s annual “Crime in the United States” report, the per capita property crime rate went up 18.9 percent, while the violent crime rate increased 10 percent. The FBI said property crime dropped by about 2 percent nationwide and violent crime rose by about 3.2 percent. No state had a larger increase in the rate of property crimes per 100,000 people than Alaska, and the state’s violent crime increase was the nation’s fifth largest. Only Vermont (up 32.7 percent), Hawaii (24.8 percent), Illinois (12.6 percent) and Alabama (12.5 percent) had larger violent crime rate increases than Alaska.

Overall, Alaska ranked second behind the District of Columbia in the rate of violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2016 and fourth in the rate of property crimes. D.C. also topped the property crime rate list, followed by New Mexico and Washington state.

The FBI data compares crime rates in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Alaska’s rates of rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and vehicle theft all went up significantly last year, according to the statistics — including a 48.6 percent percent increase in auto theft, the nation’s largest year-to-year jump. Nationally, the rate of auto theft went up by about 6.6 percent in 2016, according to the FBI.

Alaska’s rate of sexual assault increased by about 16 percent in 2016, compared with around 3 to 4 percent increase nationally. According to the statistics, Alaska’s number of rapes (revised definition) per 100,000 residents was 141.9 — more than three times the national average and nearly double that of D.C., which had the second highest number at 78.1 per 100,000 residents.

The total number of revised-definition rapes reported in Alaska in 2016 (1,053) was higher than the number reported in 13 states that have larger populations than Alaska, including Connecticut, which reported 763 rapes out of 3.5 million people. The population of Alaska was about 742,000 people in 2016, according to U.S. Census estimates.

On Friday, Sept. 22, Gov. Bill Walker issued a proclimation calling for a special legislative session partially to address crime in Alaska. In May of 2016, the Legislature passed a comprehensive crime bill that’s since been publicly blamed by some lawmakers for exacerbating the state’s crime problems. However, that bill wasn’t signed into law until July of last year.

Alaska’s robbery rate went up 11 percent in 2016, compared to a 0.5 percent nationally, while the aggravated assault rate went up by 8.6 percent (compared to a 4.4 national increase).

The only type of crime tracked by the FBI that decreased in Alaska 2016 was murder, which dropped by 12.4 percent per capita between 2015 and 2016. According to the FBI, Alaska saw 52 murders and nonnegligent manslaughters in 2016, compared to 59 in 2015.

The per capita theft rate went up 15.8 percent in Alaska in 2016 (compared to a 2.2 decrease nationwide), the second-largest increase nationally behind Vermont’s 20.5 percent spike.

Read the entire report at fbi.gov


Per 100,000 people (national rank in parenthesis)


Murder: 7.0 (13th)

Rape (revised definition): 141.9 (1st)

Rape (legacy definition): 102.0 (1st)

Aggravated assuault: 540.6 (2nd)

Robbery: 114.6 (12th)


Theft: 2,394 (2nd)

Burglary: 546.3 (14th)

Auto theft: 412.1 (6th)

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