North Dakota 2020 crime report shows a record of 32 homicides, increase in aggravated assaults

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The 2020 North Dakota Crime and Homicide Reports were released by the state Attorney General’s office — and it shows an increase in crimes against people.

Aggravated assaults increased by 10 percent after dropping in 2019.

Also, cases of negligent manslaughter increased with two people killed by distracted drivers and six killed by impaired drivers.

Homicides also increased from 26 to a record number of 32.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says this is the highest it has been since the data was first collected in 1978.

“12 of those cases– 12 of those 32 represent domestic violence cases. The rest were a compendium of different kinds of things. Some of them, a large number of them ended in drug deals gone bad. Arguments among people. Arguing over those kinds of things,” explained Stenehjem.

In western North Dakota, Ward County had seven homicides in 2020 while Cass County had the most in the state with 9.

After collecting data from all 53 counties, authorities say they saw changes across the board.

Over the last year drug and narcotic related violations went down decreased by 5.4 percent.

DUI arrests also fell 13.5 percent over the last year from 2019, but one offense that saw a dramatic increase identity theft.

Cases from that one crime alone jumped from 516 to 1,412.

“And a lot of that was coming from out of state. There seems to be the computer gangs, cyber hackers who are skilled at making claims on unemployment, taking and getting the money and keeping it,” said Stenehjem.

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