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County among state's worst for violent crime

Staff writer

New data released last week by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation list Marion County among the top quarter of Kansas counties for violent crime.

The county’s 3.1 violent crimes per 1,000 residents in 2018 contributed to a rate higher than that in all but two surrounding counties, Harvey and Saline.

Dickinson, Morris, Chase, Butler, and McPherson counties all have lower rates of violent crimes.

Marion County’s was the 24th highest rate among all counties in the state.

The most violent counties were Sedgwick, which includes Wichita; Russell, in rural west-central Kansas; Wyandotte, including Kansas City; and Labette, around Oswego in the “Balkans” area of southeastern Kansas.

Although Marion County ranked high in violent crime, it actually ranked nearly the middle of the pack in other crime: 61st in property crime, with a rate of 11.2 property crimes per 1,000 residents, and 58th in overall crime rate, as weighted by the KBI.

The data are based on regular reports made by all law enforcement agencies in each county.

Statewide, violent crimes have been rising steadily since 2013, when a steady decline in violent crime reversed itself.

After increasing from 2015 to 2017, property crimes have continued an overall downward trend.

For purposes of the report, murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and battery were considered violent crimes.

Burglary, theft, and vehicle theft were considered property crimes.

Statewide, murder was down 17%, rape was up 10.9%, robbery was down 8.5%, and aggravated assault and battery was up 7.8%.

Burglary was down 7%, theft was down 1.4%, and vehicle theft was up 1.4%.

Marion County law enforcement agencies reported no murders, three rapes, three robberies, and 29 aggravated assaults or batteries in 2018.

They also reported 45 burglaries, 59 thefts, 34 vehicle thefts, and one arson, not included in either index.

Last modified Aug. 1, 2019

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