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Protecting Utah

Public Safety Reports

2020 Crime In Utah Report Now Available

Tuesday October 5, 2021

2020’s data follows a nationwide trend and includes increases in numbers of homicides, robberies, aggravated assaults and thefts, but with a decrease in the number of rapes.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The 2020 Crime in Utah Report, as well as reports going back to 1997, can be downloaded at bci.utah.gov.

You can compare Utah data to nationwide data with the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer here.

Contact: 
Joe Dougherty
Director of Public Affairs
Utah Department of Public Safety
jdougherty@utah.gov
801-664-1530

Today, the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) released the 2020 Crime in Utah Report, an annual look at trends and statistics of crimes reported to law enforcement.

The DPS Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) compiles crime data each year to give governmental leaders, stakeholders,and residents a better understanding of criminal activity in the state. Local law enforcement agencies throughout Utah report data under the guidelines of the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, a national program which uses uniform crime definitions to ensure that crime data is comparable across political boundaries.

The report is divided into four sections: The first showing total crime numbers as reported by jurisdiction (incident-based reports), and the second showing trends and rates of various index crimes (summary reports). The third section shows 10-year trends, and the fourth shows hate crimes. All sections help us understand the data in different ways. 

Overall crime has been on a downward trend since 2016, but the data show that violent crime is increasing.

“It’s important to remember that even though there were increases in various index crimes, one year does not make a trend,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jess Anderson. “The effects of crime leave lasting challenges in many critical areas of society and our economy. And the increases in Utah crime mirrored increases in crime across the United States. Despite the numbers we reported today, Utah remains a very safe state. The Utah Department of Public Safety is committed to keeping Utah safe by using every tool at our disposal.”

Summary

  • In 2020, a total of 79,077 index crimes were committed, which indicates a 5.69% increase in the overall number of index crimes from 2019. (Index crimes include homicide and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson)
  • There were 84,050 arrests reported in 2020. This is a 20.74% decrease from 2019. 
  • This was a true increase in reported crimes, not just due to a growing population.

Crimes against people:

  • The overall number of violent crimes increased 1.04%. Violent crime changes were as follows: Homicides increased by 44.16%, Robberies increased by 5.78%, and Aggravated Assaults increased by 2.70%.
  • Though homicides increased in Utah, the rate of homicides per 100,000 (3.1%) was less than half of the national rate (6.5%).
  • Firearms were used in 66.67% of the homicides reported.
  • 15.04% of the homicides reported involved family relationships, while 84.96% did not.
  • Reported hate crimes increased from 45 in 2019 to 46 in 2020 a 2.22% increase.
  • Rapes were the only violent crime against persons that decreased in 2020, with a decrease of 10.06%.

Property crimes:

  • Total property crime increased by 6.17%. Burglary saw an increase of 1.17%, Motor Vehicle Theft increased by 34.89%, Larceny saw an increase of 3.53%, and Arson increased by 40.67%.
  • Unfortunately, property crimes continued to happen at higher rates than the rest of the United States with Utah thefts 32.8% higher than the United States’ rate and motor vehicle theft 28.7% higher than the United States’ rate. (Note: these are rates and not incidents.)
  • The value of property reported stolen in 2020 amounted to $138,847,793. Of that amount $49,554,413 was recovered, indicating a 35.69% recovery rate.
  • Residential burglaries accounted for approximately 55.77% of all burglaries. Of all residential burglaries, approximately 55.21% were known to be committed during daytime hours (6:00 am to 6:00 pm), 40.46% were known to be committed during nighttime hours (6:00 pm to 6:00 am), and the time of day could not be established for approximately 4.33% of reported residential burglaries.
  • Between May and June, there was a spike of arson cases that correlated with incidents of civil unrest.

Now what?

The best policy decisions start with reliable information. The information from the annual Crime in Utah Report has been shared with local law enforcement agencies and state legislators so they can make informed decisions about trends and incidents across Utah and actions they may be considering. 

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MEDIA CONTACT

Joe Dougherty
DPS Public Affairs Director
Department of Public Safety
JDOUGHERTY@UTAH.GOV

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