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Surprising Drop in Montana Crime in 2013, Lowest Crime Rate in a Decade

Photo courtesy of Kevork Djansezian/Staff/Getty Images

In 2013, Montana saw a huge reduction in the number of reported crimes, not only in comparison to 2012, but going all the way back to 2005.

“There was a significant decrease for all offenses for the state of Montana, the decrease was around 13 percent in 2013, compared to 2012,” said Montana Board of Crime Control Statistician Tyson McLean. “That’s everything from murder, down to disorderly conduct and abuse cases, so it’s a wide breadth of criminal activity.”

The crime statistics are gathered from all non-tribal local law enforcement agencies in the state. The total number of crimes was way down, and all types of crimes decreased too, except for one category.

“In 2012 there were 82,812 offenses reported and in 2013 that number dropped to 72,339,” McLean said. “Statewide the only group of offenses that increased was ‘crimes against society.’ That group includes drug offenses, prostitution, things of that sort.”

The rise in the ‘crimes against society’ category was only one percent between 2012 and 2013, but it has jumped up 25 percent since 2009.

The overall percentage drop in crime is especially meaningful because it does not factor in the rapid growth in population that has occurred. The 2000 census had the state population pegged at 902,000, and the state crossed the one million population mark in 2012.

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