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Jason Zingaro

Criminology: Mini-Research Assignment on South Dakota


The FBIs Uniform Crime Report lists crime data for major offenses based on different
locations of populations. For example, in South Dakota, crime data are reported based on
geographic areas such as metropolitan, cities outside of metropolitan areas, and nonmetropolitan
counties. The FBI reports that there are not sufficient data on arson (of which there were only 65
cases in South Dakota) to estimate totals, therefore property crime has been substituted for this
category for purpose of discussion. The estimated crime totals for metropolitan areas (population
of 405,686) are as follows: 9 murders/nonnegligent manslaughters, 259 forcible rapes (according
to the FBIs revised definition), 150 robberies, 956 aggravated assaults, 1663 burglaries, 6981
cases of larceny/theft, 621 cases of motor vehicle theft, and 9265 cases of property crime. For
cities outside metropolitan areas (population of 218,451), the estimated totals are as follows: 6
murders/nonnegligent manslaughters, 171 forcible rapes, 45 robberies, 998 aggravated assaults,
868 burglaries, 4208 cases of larceny/theft, 320 cases of motor vehicle theft, and 5396 cases of
property crime. In nonmetropolitan areas ( population of 229,038), estimated crime totals are as
follows: 5 murders/nonnegligent manslaughters, 40 forcible rapes, 5 robberies, 140 aggravated
assaults, 283 burglaries, 873 cases of larceny/theft, 65 cases of motor vehicle theft, and 1221
cases of property crime. Lastly, the FBI reports total state crime statistics on a rate per 100,000
inhabitants. The average list of aforementioned crimes pertaining to total state crime rates are as
follows: 2.3 murders/nonnegligent manslaughters, 55.1 forcible rapes, 23.4 robberies, 245.7
aggravated assaults, 330.3 burglaries, 1415.5 cases of larceny/theft, 118 cases of motor vehicle
theft, and 1863.9 cases of property crime. For the total amount of crimes, South Dakota reports
20 murders, 270 rapes, 200 robberies, 2,096 aggravated assaults, 2,818 robberies, 2,096
aggravated assaults, 2,818 burglaries, 12,077 cases of larceny/theft, 1,007 cases of car theft, and
15,902 cases of property crime.
Since the population of cities outside of the metropolitan areas are approximately half of
population of the metropolitan area (218,451 vs. 405,686), logic might follow that crime rates
should also be halved. However, this does not always seem to be the case. Furthermore, as
apparent from the crime statistics listed above, though they have a greater population than cities
outside of the metropolitan area, nonmetropolitan areas have much lower crime statistics on
average. Out of all crimes and across all areas, larceny/theft and property crimes are the most
prevalent. This trend, however, seems to be similar compared with most other states. When
looking at the amounts of aggravated assaults, even though cities outside of metropolitan areas
have half the population, they have more cases of aggravated assault (998 compared to 956).
This is an interesting find since compared with all other crimes there is a drop in prevalence
when moving from the metropolitan area to cities outside of it. Because population numbers are
so low compared to most other states (which have metropolitan populations in the millions),
South Dakota has seemingly low crime statistics.

In 2008, South Dakota became a NIBRS-only state, which covers approximately 95% of
the states population. Within their 2014 crime report, South Dakotas Attorney General offers
extensive statistics on the profiles of Group A and Group B offenders. When it comes to Group A
violent offenders, out of the 31,680 reported crimes, the largest amount of cases were from 20-24
year olds (6,271) and the lowest amount was in 50-54 year olds (628). Juveniles made up a large
portion of Group A crimes, with 4,830 offenses. Out of all Group A offenses, 9,227 were
committed by females, and 22,178 were committed by males. Most offenses were committed by
whites (17,106) with the next to highest race being American Indians or Alaskan Natives (8,622),
which is 4 times higher than the amount of offenses committed by Blacks or African Americans
Out of the 21,058 Group B offenses, 4,159 offenders were between the ages of 20 and 24.
While the smallest amount of offenders were listed in the 60+ category (593). 14,817 arrestees
were male, while only 6,241 were female. Whites committed 11,277 of the offenses, while
American Indians and Alaskan Natives ranked second at 6,761 offenses. Again, the number of
offenses from American Indians and Alaskan Natives greatly surpassed that of Blacks and
African Americans (6,761 compared to 933). Therefore, in both violent and property offenses,
the typical offender is a white male between the ages of 20 and 24.
Outside of the Big 8 crimes, NIBRS still produces data for separate crimes, including
kidnapping, fraud, assaults, and drug/narcotic offenses. In 2014, there were totals of 127 cases of
kidnapping/abduction, 1 welfare fraud offense, 12 wire fraud offenses, 6,102 simple assaults, and
6,004 drug/narcotic violations. Therefore, out of the 4 additional crimes listed, simple assaults
and drug/narcotic violations are the most prevalent by far. While the data presented were not
geographically categorized by cities/regions, certain locations were specified. As examples, 79 of
the 127 kidnappings/abductions occurred from residential homes, which is also where 10 of the
11 fraud offenses took place. Over half of the simple assaults were also committed in residential
homes (3,860 out of 6,102), while only 317 were committed in bars/night clubs. Although
residential homes were the location of 1,345 drug/narcotic violations, the majority of offenses
were committed on a highway/road/alley/street/side walk (2,861). When it comes to the
demographics of offenders, the majority of kidnappers were ages 25-34, and were male (62 out
of 77 cases). More offenders were white (36) than other races, but were followed close in
number by American Indians/Alaskan Natives (33). Out of known fraud offenders, 2 were
between the ages of 35 and 39, 2 of the 4 were male, and their race was unknown (3 out of 4).
Assault offenders tended to be in ages 20 to 24 (1,063), though were followed closely by those
ages 25 to 29 (932). Assault offenders were also typically male (3,834) and white (2,909). Lastly,
when it came to drug/narcotic offenders, the majority were between the ages of 20 and 24
(1,657), white (4,956), and white (4,098).
NIBRS also reports on the demographics and types of victim of each crime. All 127
kidnappings were committed against an individual. All 13 cases of fraud were also committed
against an individual. 5,964 simple assaults were committed against the individual, while 138
were committed against law enforcement officers. Drug/narcotic offenses do not have specific
data since there are considered crimes against society. The highest profile of kidnapping victims

are juvenile individuals (171), female (85), and white (60), though American Indians and
Alaskan Natives constitute 52 of the 127. The ages of fraud victims are well spread out, though
the majority are individuals over the age of 60. 10 of the 13 fraud victims were women, and all
of the victims were white. Assault victims were a close match between those individuals between
the ages of 20 and 24 and those between the ages of 25 and 26 (1,038 to 1,007 respectively).
3,499 assault victims were female, and 3,558 of the victims were white.
When again looking at the Big 8 crimes, the murders were spread across an expanse of
ages though the majority were victims ages 45 to 49. 11 of the 20 were female, making it almost
even between genders, and 10 of the 20 victims were white (the remaining were American
Indian/Alaskan Native and 1 Black/African American). The majority of rape victims were
juveniles (171), female (365), and white (235). The majority of robberies (26) were committed
against individuals age 20 to 24, male (106), and white (88). Of the aggravated assaults that were
committed, the majority of victims were ages 20 to 24 (285) followed closely by ages 25 to 29
(264), there is a near tie when it comes to victim gender (720 female to 770 male), and the
majority were committed against whites (845). The majority of burglaries were committed
against those ages 20 to 59 (an average of 200 for each age group), but there was a spike of
burglaries committed against those 60 and older (423). Most burglaries were committed against
men (1,395) and whites (1,900). Cases of larceny were almost equally distributed across age
groups, tend to favor males over females (1,395 to 1,012), and were mostly committed against
whites (3,194 out of 4,136). Motor vehicle theft tended to occur more to individuals between the
ages of 20 and 59, were committed more against males than females (503 to 315), and were
mostly committed against whites (618 out of 827). Lastly, when it comes to cases of property
crime, the amount of victims were again similar through ages 20 and 59. More were committed
against men than women (2,181 to 1,634), and the majority were committed against whites
(3,039 out of 3,878).
The FBIs UCR website reports that 18,000 agencies contribute data to the FBI each year.
In South Dakota, 59 departments reported that they employ a total of 779 fulltime law
enforcement workers. Which means there are approximately 17 law enforcement officers for
every 10,000 individuals in all cities surveyed. These agencies range in size from police
departments serving populations less than 500 (which employs up to two officers in chief
positions) to departments serving populations over 12,000 (which employ up to 8 chiefs, 5
assistant chiefs, 17 captains, 19 lieutenants, 72 sergeants, 23 corporals, 65 detectives, 305 patrol
officers, 1 animal control officer, and 27 school resource officers). In 2014 (and not since 2011)
there were no reported felonious killings of police officers nor were there any accidental killings.
Lacking state-specific details, the UCR reports statistics for portions of the US. For example, the
Midwest (where South Dakota resides) reported the assault of 6,595 law enforcement officers,
2,028 of which resulted in injury. These data were collected by 2,654 reporting agencies, which
employ 71,933 officers. Unfortunately, the UCR and the Attorney General Office of South
Dakota do not go into great detail of law enforcement information in regards to officers,
including the amount of officers working in different branches (local, state, college), nor do they
expound upon demographic information about officers.