CRIME REPORT — This graph shows the multi-year index crime comparison for Kansas. Courtesy Photo
CRIME REPORT — This graph shows the multi-year index crime comparison for Kansas. Courtesy Photo

TOPEKA — The 2018 Kansas Crime Index Report was recently released by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. It compiles crime statistics reported to the KBI by state and local law enforcement agencies from all across Kansas.

The most recent Crime Index Report pointed to an uptick in violent crimes in Kansas. "In 2018, 12,367 violent crimes were reported in Kansas," said the report, which represents an increase of 5.3% in the violent crime categories of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault/battery. "The violent crime rate is currently 16.5% above the 10-year average," said the press release.

The report said contributions to the overall crime increase was a 10.9% increase in reported rapes and a 7.8% increase in aggravated assaults; those are compared to the 2017 numbers. The report suggested the rise in crime Kansas has experienced since 2014 may be starting to slow as murder and robbery declined in 2018 compared to 2017. 

"Across the state 146 murders occurred, significantly fewer than the 176 murders in 2017, when the murder rate reached the highest in a decade. Robberies also decreased by 8.5% in 2018," said the report.

On a good note, property crime offenses in Kansas have declined by 2%, according to the 2018 crime report. "Both burglary and theft decreased compared to 2017. Motor vehicle theft, by contrast, increased for the fourth year in a row," the press release said. 

KBI noted data from the report is derived from standard offense and arrest reports which are submitted to the Kansas Incident Based Reporting System (KIBRS) by local law enforcement agencies across Kansas. The report is dependent on the reporting of crimes by victims. The report helps provide a "historical assessment and snapshot" of crime trends and the press release noted it is often not possible to draw further interpretations or conclusions from the data.

The data should not be used to make comparisons between jurisdictions, the KBI cautioned, as often the comparisons are not valid "as the factors influencing crime vary widely between communities."

The City of Independence crime stats will be available next week.