- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Crime statistics for 2015 show an increase in overall crime in South Dakota from the previous year, some of which can be attributed to a 22 percent jump in drug arrests.

“Increased methamphetamine use is continuing to have a significant impact on higher levels of violent crime in South Dakota,” Attorney General Marty Jackley said when releasing the data Friday.

The report shows drops in many property crimes and juvenile offenses but a need to strengthen prevention when it comes to drug and alcohol offenses, financial crimes and child sex crimes, Jackley said.

The statistics “reflect that overall, South Dakota remains a safe place to live as a result of strong community involvement and law enforcement efforts,” he said.

Law enforcement agencies in the state last year reported about 40,000 total arrests, up nearly 6 percent from 2014. Total offenses were up 9 percent, to about 71,000.

Homicide and negligent manslaughter arrests dropped from 20 to 16. Arrests also dropped for thefts, arson, burglaries and prostitution. Arrests for sex offenses, assault, fraud, robberies, motor vehicle thefts, driving under the influence and child pornography all increased.

Juvenile arrests dropped nearly 4 percent, to about 4,700. Juvenile arrests have fallen 32 percent since a recent peak of just under 7,000 in 2009.

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