OKLAHOMA CITY —
Oklahoma’s overall crime rate increased in 2012, including the highest number of reported rapes in more than a decade, according to recently released statistics from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The statistics show that 1,676 rapes were reported in Oklahoma last year — a nearly 15 percent increase from 2011. The stats also show a 3.9 increase in aggravated assaults, but a 3.3 decrease in robberies.
OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said that it’s hard to tell whether the numbers represent an actual increase in the number of rapes.
“The problem is that a lot of rapes and other sexual assaults don’t get reported,” Brown said. “So, were there more rapes last year or did more people just report them?”
Brown said she hopes victims will continue to report rapes and sexual assaults, and said law enforcement tries to educate the public about reporting such crimes.
“I think society is not looking at it as shameful, for the victim, to report cases of rape. ... I’m hopeful that’s the case,” Brown said.
The number of cases classified as homicides was unchanged from 2011 and 2012, with 219 reported each year. Since 2000, the highest number of homicides was 229 in 2009.
The agency also said nonviolent crimes rose by 1.6 percent last year, including a 5 percent increase in vehicle theft.