Should residents feel safe in Idaho?

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The release of the annual crime rate statistics for 2014 paints a picture of increasing security in Idaho as the number of criminal incidents seems to be plunging at least in southeastern counties. Unfortunately, residents of the gem state are having a rough time accepting these figures. In fact, most don’t believe that criminals are on a retreat in their neck of the woods.

And, they have every reason to be skeptical given the recent spate of violent crimes, which included a homicide in Idaho Falls, a molestation case involving a high school soccer coach and an assault on a minor in Pocatello. In fact, several people have taken to the internet to question the veracity of the recently released crime statistics.

Why do agencies fudge crime rates?

Errors in reporting can be attributed to simple human error or they can very well be intentional. For instance, the image of burgeoning crime rates and a deteriorating law and order situation gets the local police force more equipment and extra funding to hire more officers.

On the other hand, the depiction of plunging crime rates means that the police get off the hook since they have already been doing their job so well. However, in case of Idaho, at least there is no overt indication that the law enforcement agencies have been deliberately trying to misinterpret the figures. Yet, for most residents, it is getting increasingly hard to reconcile with figures that do not even remotely match their own experiences and the crime news that they hear every day.

At the moment, as far as the crime report for 2014 issued by the State Police goes, all other areas in south Idaho seem to be faring well except for Franklin County. This area saw an increase of almost 50% in crime rates. Another region that showed a marginal rise in the crime figures was Bear Lake County where the police registered a growth of around 1% in the number of reported criminal incidents.