Sgt. Todd Orr, Idaho state trooper, is shown with a state patrol car in this 2015 file photo.

Idaho’s crime rate dropped by just under 2% in 2018, compared to the year before, but it dropped by 6 percent in Ada County, while rising a half-percent in Canyon County. The annual Crime in Idaho statistical report, released today by the Idaho State Police, showed that Idaho’s crime rate in 2018 was the lowest in the West and the sixth-lowest in the nation.

“If one measure of quality of life is crime rate and the amount of crime that’s being reported to the police, it’s a reflection of what we know and love about Idaho, which is generally a fairly safe place to live,” said Lisa Bostaph, a professor of criminal justice at Boise State University. But she cautioned that small increases or decreases aren’t necessarily statistically significant, and the numbers show only how much crime is reported to police — not how much is occurring, including crimes that go unreported.

“What we don’t know is, is there a difference between the amount of victimization that’s happening and the amount that’s actually getting reported?” she said. “What we’re seeing is the amount of crime that police departments and prosecutors are having to deal with decreased.” You can read my full story here at (subscription required), or pick up Wednesday's edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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