Crime in Kentucky report shows homicides continue decline in the Commonwealth for straight third year

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The 2023 Crime in Kentucky report published by the Kentucky State Police (KSP) indicates crime rates have remained stable with a decline in offenses for homicide, burglary, robbery, sex offenses, kidnapping and gambling, while human trafficking and animal cruelty cases have risen.

According to the report, for the last three consecutive years, homicide rates have been declining on a statewide basis. The latest figures show homicide cases fell from 571 in 2022 to 562 in 2023, a decrease of 1.58 percent.

(Photo from Kentucky Today)

The two largest increases for reported offenses of serious crimes were human trafficking and animal cruelty. The KSP says they believe the rise in human trafficking reports, from 43 to 60, up 39.53 percent, may be related to an increase in training for law enforcement, service and education professionals, as well as a nationwide push for heightened community awareness.

Animal cruelty cases in Kentucky continue to rise, from 734 to 991 (an increase of 35.01 percent), some of which may be because individuals who are reported for animal cruelty oftentimes are abusing multiple animals at one time.

Other large increases, 10 percent or more between 2022 and 2023 include:

• Bribery, from 83 to 94 reports, a 13.25 percent jump.

• Extortion/Blackmail, from 152 to 179, up 17.76 percent.

• Motor Vehicle Theft, 11,486 to 13,535 reports, a 17.84 percent rise.

• Prostitution Offenses, from 55 t0 61 reports, a 10.91 percent increase.

Some of the larger decreases in crime numbers, again 10 percent or more, include:

• Burglary/Breaking and Entering, from 12,471 to 11,070, down 11.23 percent.

• Pornography/Obscene Material: from 2,879 to 2,392, a 16.92 percent drop.

• Robbery, from 2,197 to 1,835, a decrease of 16.48 percent.

“One crime committed is one too many,” said Gov. Andy Beshear in reaction to the report. “Our law enforcement and government leaders remain focused on deterring crime, protecting Kentucky families and providing services to victims. At the beginning of my second term, I pledged to remain committed to creating that better Kentucky we all want for future generations, and every day, my administration reaffirms this promise.”

KSP Commissioner Col. Phillip Burnett pointed out, ““Protecting Kentucky’s 120 counties requires a collaboration between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and I am proud to say that our state does this well. It is because of this that we are seeing progress being made every day. I encourage Kentuckians to stay vigilant of their surroundings, take notice of changes and remain focused on protecting our most vulnerable population – our children.”

Burnett added that anyone with information to report to law enforcement is encouraged to call 911 or one of KSP’s 16 posts. Citizens may also report tips confidentially through the KSP website tip form.

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