Police: drugs, alcohol drive crime in North Platte

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-- In terms of crime, the North Platte Police Department says that 2017 was a pretty typical year.

Using data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report, The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked North Platte as the twelfth safest city in Nebraska.

Report statistics indicate 82 violent crimes in North Platte last year, including, for example, aggravated assault, murder, rape, or robbery. Per every 1,000 crimes, three point four of them were violent crimes.

Inv. John Deal says that these crime are usually connected by one factor.

"By far, the majority of our felony arrests are going to be drug related," Deal noted. "I don't think anything really stood out in 2017, as far as us having a major problem with anything. Obviously, we're really focused on drugs in this community."

As for property crimes, data indicates 863 in North Platte in 2017. Property crimes include burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.

"We had a lot of storage units being broken into over a period of several months back in 2017," Deal said. "I think we've finally found the person responsible and got him arrested."

While drugs may often be at the root of the crime, Deal says that there is not an overwhelming amount of one specific crime over the others.

"As with any statistics, there's ebbs and flows," Deal reflected. "They're going to be up one year and down the next; so, we stay pretty steady around here in the types of crimes that we see. We don't really have an overwhelming amount of one specific type of crime. It seems to be pretty even every year."

The council named La Vista as the safest city in Nebraska, followed by Bellevue, Papillion, Columbus and Lexington rounding out the top five. The council considered cities with a population over 10,000.

For more information on the rankings, click here.

The report was formally released on Feb. 5, 2018.