Crime Rate Grows with Population

JONESBORO, AR -- After the release of an FBI report on the most dangerous cities in Arkansas, law enforcement from the metropolitan statistical area of Craighead and Poinsett counties tell K8 News this area isn't that dangerous.

"The majority of people in the city of Jonesboro don't need to be overly concerned with the numbers," said Jonesboro Police Detective Mike Branscum.

Jonesboro is growing and with new neighbors comes new crime.

"As the area, Northeast Arkansas and Jonesboro grows, we're going to see those numbers grow gradually," said Branscum.

So what do we need to worry about?

"The biggest problems that we have in the city of Jonesboro are theft and breaking and entering.  Those type of situations and a majority of that is stemming from drug usage," said Branscum.

In Poinsett County in Trumann, Police Chief Larry Blagg said drugs and alcohol play a big role in their county too.

According to the FBI, in 2006 there were 89 forcible rapes in the MSA.

But Detective Branscum said not all rapes initially reported actually turn out to be rape.

"A lot of times we have a victim who is scared or regretful of what has happened, maybe has been caught by someone and then they report a situation as a rape," said Branscum.

While many attacks can be random, many are tied to some sort of domestic violence.

"Out of all the assaults that occur in Jonesboro and all the batteries about 50% to 55% of those are domestic related," said Branscum.

And that assault or battery can often lead to murder.

"Last year in 2006 Arkansas had seventeen domestic homicides," said Kerri Bangert.

Kerri Bangert with the Women's Crisis Center of Northeast Arkansas says four of those were here in Region 8, and unfortunately they will continue to happen.