KBI: Murder rate in Kansas up 46% from 2014 to 2016

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas bureau of investigation reports homicides in Kansas are rising.

The K.B.I. presented violent crime statistics to a joint legislative committee on Kansas Security.

“The increase in the murder rate, is very concerning, but the overall increase in violent crimes is probably more so,” said K.B.I. Director Kirk Thompson.

In the report to lawmakers, statistics show between 2014 and 2016, the Kansas murder rate jumped 46.5%. That’s in stark contrast to the decade before, when crime rates had gone down.

“Now in the last two years that trend is starting to move back up, and the fact that we are losing our success at driving crime down and it’s actually moving back up, that has to be the greatest concern,” said Thomson.

Another reason for the increase; almost 15% of the murders involved multiple victims in one incident, like the recent triple murder in Lawrence this last weekend, where someone gunned down 5 people, injuring two others besides the three who died. Thompson says many times there are several factors that can lead to violent deaths.

“Social factors, crime factors, but one of the things we see in the cases that we are engaged in, is a connection between drug trafficking and violence.”

The statics also show that rapes are up 11%. Robberies are up 26%, and Aggravated Assaults and Battery are up 14%. He says many of these cases can also be solved, with the help of the public.

“Passing along information quickly, and accurately is one of the most effective ways for law enforcement to identify offenders. Get them into the system and hold them accountable,” he explained.

Director Thompson urged the committee to increase funding so they can hire 13 more agents. He says they are strapped at current staffing of 60 agents, while other states similar in size as Kansas, have double the staff.

In last Thursday’s officer involved shooting, KBI had to turn down that investigation because of its case over load. The Lawrence police department is handling that investigation.