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WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 22, 2012, 07:02 PM

Fargo, West Fargo release 2011 crime statistics

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Crime numbers are out for the city of Fargo today, and police say they're "fed up" with drunk drivers. Overall crime is down, despite a rash of armed robberies. It seems Fargo has seen robbery after robbery this past year.

Crime numbers are out for the city of Fargo today, and police say they're "fed up" with drunk drivers. Overall crime is down, despite a rash of armed robberies. It seems Fargo has seen robbery after robbery this past year.

Chief Keith Ternes – Fargo Police Department: "There is certainly no fault in terms of the community being very concerned or aware of the fact we've had this rash of robberies here recently."

Between January 1st, 2011 and February 1st of this year there were 24 commercial robberies in the metro. 11 have been solved.

Chief Keith Ternes: "We've provided them with recommendations relative to upgrading their security systems, their video recording systems. Officers are much more diligent now in terms of having a highly visible presence."

Overall, crime actually decreased 6% in Fargo in 2011 from the year before. Vehicle thefts dropped 30%. There were 125 reported offenses in 2010 to 87 cases in 2011. Gross sexual imposition offenses fell 40% from 52 offenses in 2010 to 31 in 2011.

But there are areas of concern. Aggravated assault offenses rose 14% from 159 offenses to 182, sparking a domestic violence awareness campaign.

Chief Keith Ternes: "The department has been moving much more in terms of doing data analysis in terms of determining how we allocate our resources, what crimes we're going to focus on."

Also, DUI arrests jumped 29% from 875 to 1,127 - a record number.

Chief Keith Ternes: "The new message we're considering is that if you drink and drive in the city of Fargo, you will be arrested period. You will end up in jail."

Chief Ternes says the crime rate in Fargo is at a six-year low.

There was also one homicide last year. 28 year-old Tremaine Settles was stabbed to death during a fight in September. Cass County prosecutors chose not to file charges against Billy Oliver, saying it appears he acted in self-defense.

Some of the crime data in Fargo mirrors that of West Fargo. Police there also released their statistics today. There were 153 DUI offenses last year, up from 122 in 2010. Police also investigated four robberies in 2011. They investigated three the year before.

Overall, there were 2095 offenses in 2011, up by 254 from ten years ago. Chief Arland Rasmussen says it's important to remember that West Fargo has doubled in size since then.

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