The state of Iowa is not known as a violent state by far, but there has been a recent rise in crime rates all across the state, with certain areas being more prone to criminal activities than others. Violent crime rates are up by significant margins according to FBI reports, and even the local police are of the opinion that they have been more busy than usual in the last few years.
Iowa is Still One of the Safest States in the US
In spite of crime rising at an alarming rate, Iowa remains one of the safer states in the US. According to reports published by USA Today, and collected from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Iowa is safer than 35 of the 50 States, which puts the state’s crime rate well below even the average crime rate within the nation.
Iowa is considered to be one of the safer areas of the country as a result, although it used to be much safer. Taking a look at the following stats however, does display the rise in both violent and non-violent crime, which can be a cause for alarm in the near future.
The Most Unlawful City in Iowa
The city of Clinton is on FBI records as the most dangerous and violent place in Iowa to live in. As per numbers published by the FBI in 2017, the violent crime rate is 1,155, for every 100,000 residents, which is actually quite surprising, given that the entire state only has a violent crime rate of 293 per 100,000 people. It is this fact that makes Clinton a particularly dangerous city in the state, although some more positive facts about the city were also discovered from the records.
The Most Violent City in Iowa is Not a Murderous City
The same records that had put Clinton as a violent and dangerous place in comparison to the rest of the state, also shows a positive, albeit anomalous fact. There were no reported murders in Clinton, as per the FBI and the local police force, taking into account the year of 2017 only.
Given that there were murders reported in other cities and rural areas with much lower rates of violent crime, it is certainly an anomalous fact, but still positive nonetheless. It is also to be noted that Clinton is one of the eight cities in the state of Iowa that managed to complete a whole year without any reported homicides.
The Reasons Behind Clinton’s Rise in Crime Rate
The city has a higher rate of unemployment than the state’s average at 3.4% (with the average being just 2.5%). It is estimated that at least some of the crimes were motivated by this comparatively higher unemployment rate in the city.
Even the rate of poverty in Clinton is significantly higher than the state average (12%) at 16%, which is of course, one of the key reasons that boosts crime in any region.
Aggravated assault is not only the main reason behind why Clinton has made it to the top of the chart in Iowa’s list of dangerous cities; it is almost the only reason for violent crimes in the city. Out of the 295 cases of violent crimes reported in 2017, 242 of them were a result of aggravated assault, none of which resulted in death, fortunately.
One could argue that the situation has changed and the reports are somewhat outdated, but these are the latest updates we have from the FBI officially and they are more or less the most reliable ones as well.
A Need for More Law Enforcement Officials is Apparent in Iowa
When the crime rates rise in any city, so does the need to employ more law enforcement officials. If anyone in the state is up for it, they can become part of the solution by completing an accredited Criminal Justice degree online.
On completion of the Bachelor’s degree, the candidate will be eligible to sit for exams and apply for law enforcement jobs in both federal and state departments. Some of the areas which are currently in need of new employees include the US Marshal Department, the Fish and Games Department, Secret Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CSI and of course, the FBI to name just a few.
As an alternative, residents of Iowa can also use their accredited Criminal Justice degree to start a Private Investigation firm of their own. Setting aside the career prospects, the serious PI service is often extremely helpful for local police departments in cracking cases faster and with more efficiency.
The Primary Reason for Alarm in Iowa
Perhaps in light of crime rates in states such as New Mexico, Louisiana and Alaska, the Iowan criminal records don’t seem so alarming after all. Nevertheless, the problem is not in the total, but in the rate at which crime has risen in Iowa.
Apparently, between the years 2012 and 2017, Sioux City has seen their crime rate rise by a whopping 37%, while the state of Iowa itself has experienced an increase of 11.2%. None of the figures are encouraging to say the least.
Then again, given that an increase of crime rate by an almost unbelievable 113.7% was reported in Auburn-Opelika, Alabama, Sioux City is definitely not doing as poorly yet. However, it is to be noted that the difference in rise between Alabama (16%) and Iowa (11%) is not as significant, which isn’t assuring either.
Furthermore, in comparison with states such as Connecticut, which has actually seen a decrease in crime rates by 19%, or Delaware, where the crime rates went down by 17.2%, there is still much to be desired here for sure.
As things stand now, we await more updated reports from the FBI to see if Iowa has managed to curb its rising crime problem, or if it has increased after 2017. Unfortunately, in light of recent events, the latter is more likely to happen than the former.