Stats: Nevada above average in violent crimes | NevadaAppeal.com

Stats: Nevada above average in violent crimes

The latest FBI crime reports show Nevada is well above the national average in the number of violent crimes per capita.

Nationwide, the FBI statistics show there were 475 violent crimes per 100,000 people during 2003. Nevada, by comparison, reported 614 violent crimes per 100,000.

Nevada has a population of just 2.2 million, but hosts some 40 million tourists each year. State officials have long complained the FBI statistics don’t take all those visitors into account in calculating crime rates. According to everyone from law enforcement to tourism officials, those visitors push the state above national rates for just about every type of crime.

But the good news is the crime rate in Nevada went down from 2002 to 2003, from 637 violent crimes per 100,000 people to 614. That may, however, be partly because of the state’s growth, since total violent crimes went down only 91 to 13,765, while the total Nevada population increased by more than 700,000.

The violent-crime statistics include a significant drop in the number of forcible rapes reported – from 928 in 2002 to 874 in 2003.

Murders, however, were up by 16 to a total of 197.

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Nearly 11,000 violent crimes were in the Las Vegas reporting area – including 172 of the murders and 668 of the rape cases.

In Washoe County, there were 1,951 violent crimes, including 21 murders and 144 rape cases.

Carson City reported 265 violent crimes, including one forcible rape in 2003. There were no murders in 2003.

Also up dramatically was the number of property crimes such as burglary and theft in the state. The 2002 total of 71,581 jumped by more than 12,000 to 96,109.

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at nevadaappeal@sbcglobal.net or 687-8750.