Amended Kansas Crime Index finds violent crimes actually increased in 2022
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Violent crimes in Kansas were found to have actually increased in 2022 following an amendment after a system error was reported in Wichita.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation announced that on Thursday, Nov. 12, it released an amended 2022 Kansas Crime Index Report, which compiles crime statistics reported by state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
The amended report indicated that violent crime in Kansas actually increased by 2.9% from 2021 compared to the previously reported 4.3% decrease. It increased in each category except for murder, which saw a 2.9% decline from the previous year. A total of 13,808 violent crimes were reported which included murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault and battery.
Meanwhile, KBI noted that violent crime in the Sunflower State has been on a steady rise since 2014, only declining slightly in 2021. Violent crime in 2022 was about 17.5% above the 10-year average.
As for property crime in 2022, KBI said a 4.1% decline was seen, continuing a trend that started in 2017. However, property crime offenses are assumed to be underreported to law enforcement officials.
The Bureau indicated that the 2022 report was required to be amended after the Wichita Police Department warned that their agency’s crime data appeared incomplete after the report was first published.
“Upon reviewing the crime data released by the KBI, the Wichita Police Department promptly alerted KBI to the inaccuracies. Collaborating with KBI, we pinpointed the issue and rectified it,” said Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan. “Furthermore, we implemented extra checks in coordination with KBI to ensure that submitted data undergoes thorough end-to-end verification upon receipt. WPD’s partnership with KBI is strong and incredibly important to ensuring the safety of our community,” Sullivan said.
The system error was found, however, it was not immediately noticed which caused thousands of offenses to not be counted in the July report. Since then, the two agencies have worked closely to ensure all reports were received.
“When we recognized how many offenses weren’t represented in the annual crime report, we knew we had a responsibility to let the public, the Legislature, and our law enforcement partners know that what we understood about crime in Kansas had changed,” said KBI Director Tony Mattivi. “For example, in the report from July, we saw a slight decrease in violent crime statewide, and with these additional offenses being accounted for, we now know Kansas saw a slight increase in violent crime in 2022.”
As a result, KBI said a total of 4,979 additional reports of major violent crime and property crime offenses were collected from multiple agencies across the state. These reports came from the erred submission, as well as from agencies who had either caught up on crime data submissions not entered by the deadline or who had additional crimes reported for 2022 after the original report was published.
“The KBI is grateful to Chief Sullivan and the Wichita Police Department for their partnership. Despite the initial reporting problems, Kansans will have a greater understanding of crime in our state due to these collaborative efforts,” Mattivi added.
Since the new reports had a substantial impact on the state’s understanding of crime in Kansas, KBI said the report was amended and republished.
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