Quick Takes

Kentucky’s annual crime report shows drop in serious offenses

By: - July 19, 2023 5:50 pm

Crime in Kentucky was down in 2022 compared with the previous year. (Photo by Brandon Bell, Getty Images)

Incidents of violent crime decreased across Kentucky in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to an annual state report released Wednesday. 

The 2022 Crime in Kentucky Report showed about a 9.2% drop in the number of reported Group A offenses — which include the state’s most serious offenses including arson, homicide, bribery, burglary, and fraud — compared to 2021 as reported by local law enforcement agencies. The data comes from the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

Among Group A offenses, reports of animal cruelty increased by 19%, reports of homicide decreased by 33% and reports of counterfeiting and forgery increased by 19%. 

The most common Group A offenses reported were drug and narcotic related, which made up 22.6% of the total offenses, and larceny and theft, which accounted for 23.9% of the total Group A offenses. Both those categories of offenses were down from 2021.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear during a Wednesday news conference said Kentucky State Police attribute some of the increases in specific crimes to “more law enforcement bringing the crime to light and making arrests.” 

“Like every crime, we will make sure that our state and local law enforcement have the resources they need to fight back,” Beshear said.

Among the more than 300,000 total reported Group A and Group B offenses, Black people were disproportionately arrested in the state, reflecting nationwide racial disparities in arrests. 

Black people were arrested 50,169 times for various offenses in 2022, about 15.4% of all offenses that year. Black Kentuckians make up about 8.7% of the state’s population. 

The report also includes a breakdown of offenses by county, data on reported hate crimes and breakdowns of offenses by age, race and sex. 

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Liam Niemeyer
Liam Niemeyer

Liam covers government and policy in Kentucky and its impacts throughout the Commonwealth for the Kentucky Lantern. He most recently spent four years reporting award-winning stories for WKMS Public Radio in Murray.