Reporting that major crimes were up less than 1 percent, while so-called "Group A" crimes, such as sexual assault, battery and drug violations were down 6 percent, Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson unveiled the city's 2012 Crime Report Friday. So-called "Group B" crimes, such as bad checks, disorderly conduct and nonviolent family offenses, were down 7.5 percent.
Boise Police responded to 167,000 calls for service in 2012.
"Notably, crimes involving weapons and drugs dropped to at least a 10-year low in Boise," said the report.
"There are real people and real stories behind these numbers," said Masterson. "Less crime means fewer crime victims, fewer people in emergency rooms, less time lost at work, and better quality of life for many. It's the absence of crime and disorder that shows we're making a difference, as a police department and as a community."
According to recent FBI statistics, major crimes throughout the West increased 4.2 percent, compared to Boise's increase of 0.9 percent.
Among major crimes, rape reports increased in 2012, along with burglary, both commercial and residential. Theft reports, including shoplifting and theft from buildings dropped to at least a 10-year low, while theft from motor vehicles increased slightly.
Among Group A crimes, weapons violations were down 22 percent, vandalism and graffiti were down more than 16 percent, and drug violations were down 7 percent.
"Those who have lived here in Boise for decades have seen some crime numbers creep up with time and population growth, but in the case of reported residential burglaries last year, the numbers were at all-time lows over the 25 years we’ve been keeping statistics," said Masterson. "Those who came to Boise from larger cities might not be troubled by our levels of burglaries or even homicides; compared to where you previously lived, Boise’s crime numbers are small. But if you’ve been the victim of a crime—say, a home burglary—the feeling that your most private space has been violated is devastating. Every crime is a number, but we also realize every crime has a victim who suffers real consequences."