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Idaho State Police releases 2012 crime report

Every 30 minutes, a crime against a person happens in Idaho, according to a new report released by the Idaho State Police.

The report details different types of crime that happened in jurisdictions throughout the state in 2012.

According to the report, Idaho is the fifth-safest state in the country, behind Virginia, Vermont, Utah and Maine, when comparing the number of crimes per 100,000 people.

Still, Idahoans will admit that bad things can happen and that they feel some neighborhoods are less safe than others.

When Danielle Brown and her family moved to Idaho Falls from Iowa she said her co-workers told her not to move to the “alphabet streets” near downtown because they are more dangerous.

Kenneth Shade said he, too, thinks that neighborhood is dangerous.

“The gang life is getting out of hand,” he said of the area.

A map of Idaho Falls on AlertID, an online crime tracker, shows a somewhat even distribution of crime throughout the city. Still, Idaho Falls Police Chief Mark McBride is reluctant to admit that there are some trends.

“(When there are) more houses in the neighborhood, there’s more people there. So you might have more propensity for being a victim of a crime,” McBride said. “Also, you look at the environment. How close are the houses? How narrow are the streets? What’s the lighting like?”

McBride said downtown, the bars can play a role in crime because alcohol lowers inhibitions and there are larger crowds.

Venturing over a few blocks to the “alphabet streets” with the unfortunate reputation, McBride said more affordable housing can sometimes draw in criminals.

Still, cheaper homes don’t necessarily mean more crime, McBride said. He explained that the more expensive subdivisions off of Sunnyside Road are often subject to vehicle break-ins.

“We should be just as cautious and just as aware no matter where we live, because crimes can occur anywhere,” McBride said.

While there is reason to be aware, McBride said there’s also reason to be proud. Idaho Falls sees roughly 256 crimes per 100,000 people, according to the ISP report. Most cities around the same size see about 368.

“I think the people in our community care about each other,” McBride said, explaining the low crime rate. “(We) care about what’s going on, so we look after each other.”

Idaho Falls Police Department spokeswoman Joelyn Hansen said for every neighborhood that’s perceived to have more crime, there are plenty of good, law abiding citizens living in it.

Follow the link to see the full ISP Crime Report.

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