Iowa’s crime rate increased by four percent in 2000. The stats, released today, show a dramatic, 21 percent increase in murder cases. Martha Coco of the Iowa Department of Public Safety says that percentage increase is deceiving, though, because Iowa has so few murder cases. She says they had as few as 40 and as high as 70 murders.
Last year there were 58 murder victims in Iowa — 10 more than the year before. The stats show a 17 percent decrease in the number of “forcible” rapes, with 675 reported in Iowa last year. But Coco says that decrease followed a year in which reported rape cases climbed significantly. The rates increased significantly between 1998-99 and again between ’99 and 2000.
There were over 90-thousand “serious” crimes committed in Iowa last year. All but about eight thousand were property crimes.