Like any state, Utah has major variations when it comes to crime rates by city. Some police departments report high numbers of arrests, while others hardly report any. And while crime reports or murder statistics aren’t the only factors to consider when moving – education, affordability, climate, and real estate are a few others that come to mind – they can play an important role in a family’s decision to relocate. Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson looks at recent Utah crime statistics, with a focus on arrests for rape and homicide, to see which towns and cities have the most reported violent crimes. Is your community on the list?
Top 10 Utah Cities and Towns with Highest Arrest Statistics
“What are the most dangerous cities in Utah?”
That seems like a simple question, but you’re likely to get a different answer from every person you ask. Since emotions and memories can create biases, we need to look for a more objective way to measure crime in each city. Instead of relying solely on opinions, which can be influenced by positive or negative experiences, it’s a good idea to look at the factual data, too.
The Utah Department of Public Safety publishes annual crime reports, which include detailed arrest statistics for many different types of offenses. While these reports are imperfect in that arrests don’t necessarily amount to convictions – nor do local law enforcement agencies guarantee complete accuracy, as the report warns – they can still help to sketch a rough image of crime in different Utah cities and towns. Let’s examine what the data from 2015 reveals.
If we were to rank our list by the total number of overall arrests in each town, here are the communities that would be considered the 10 most dangerous cities in Utah:
10. South Salt Lake PD – 2,159 total arrests reported in 2015
9. Logan PD – 2,184
8. Provo PD – 2,703
7. St. George PD – 2,944
6. Orem PD – 3,054
5. West Jordan PD – 3,156
4. Sandy PD – 3,332
3. Ogden PD – 4,245
2. West Valley PD – 6,326
1. Salt Lake City PD – 19,204
However, many of the arrests charted on this list involve non-violent offenses. Though violations of the law, offenses like marijuana possession and prostitution generally don’t pose a physical threat to other residents of the community. In that regard, it’s probably more relevant to focus specifically on arrests for violent crimes, such as rape and homicide.
The top 10 Utah cities with the highest number of arrests for rape were:
10. Murray PD – 25 total rape arrests in 2015
9. Layton PD – 28
8. Logan PD – 29
7. Sandy PD – 31
6. Ogden PD – 30
5. Roy PD – 33
4. South Salt Lake PD and Tooele PD – 42 each
3. Provo PD – 46
2. West Valley PD – 102
1. Salt Lake City PD – 170
As a Salt Lake murder defense attorney can tell you, arrests for homicide are extremely rare in Utah. The West Valley City PD and Salt Lake City PD each reported eight homicide arrests, the Ogden PD reported four, the Murray PD and Roy PD each reported three, and the Sandy PD reported two. Every other town or city’s police department reported one or zero homicide arrests in 2015.
It’s also important to take a community’s population into account when crunching the numbers. Salt Lake City has the most arrests, but it also has the most people. Some towns have fewer arrests overall, but more (or fewer) arrests than you would expect in relation to the total number of residents.
For example, even though Provo is the third most populous city in Utah, it had only the eighth highest number of total arrests. With a population of fewer than 25,000, South Salt Lake is only the 32nd most populous city in Utah, yet still made the list for the top 10 highest numbers of arrests – just behind Logan, which has roughly twice the population. West Valley City and Salt Lake City had the same number of homicides, even though West Valley City has about 57,000 fewer residents.
Contact a Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Lawyer if You Were Arrested
The bottom line is that no community is completely free from crime, in Utah or elsewhere. However, in many cases, the wrong person is initially accused. In the interest of justice for all, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough investigation into each allegation, no matter how straightforward the facts might appear on the surface. Every defendant deserves to be represented by a criminal attorney who not only has the skill and experience to handle the case competently, but also has the attitude that each person is innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
As a Salt Lake rape attorney, Darwin Overson has more than 16 years of experience representing defendants charged with felonies and misdemeanors, including violent crimes. During that time, Darwin has earned a reputation for taking on tough cases when other sex crime defense lawyers won’t. No matter how serious the allegations against you or your loved one, you can count on Darwin to approach your case with compassion, professionalism, and a determination to obtain justice. For a free legal consultation with Darwin, contact the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 758-2287 today.