KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation‘s 2021 Crime in Tennessee report was released Tuesday. The report gives an insight into the amount and type of crime happening within the state.
The report puts together data submitted to the TBI Tennessee Incident-Based Reporting System to find trends within the state. Across the state, overall crime saw a slight decrease from 2020, dropping 1.38%. According to the TBI, this coincides with a nationwide trend of a reduction in overall crime.
In 2020, the TBI said that the impact of COVID was undeniably in the data due to the closures of workplaces, schools and more. For 2021, they said a “notable impact” was still seen but it was not nearly as pronounced in 2021 as it was in 2020.
The report splits arrests into two groups. Group A represents serious, violent crimes like animal cruelty, drug offenses and murder. Group B offenses include disorderly conduct, DUIs and loitering violations. In 2021, Group A offenses decreased by 1.38% from 2020, while Group B arrests slightly increased by 0.97%. The most Group A arrests took place in July with 45,550 arrests while February saw the least arrests with 35,453.
In 2021, 18,757 people were arrested for DUIs marking a 3.03% increase from 2020 and marking the first increase since at least 2016. Even with this increase, DUI arrests remain 4.34% lowers than pre-pandemic numbers. When looking at other drug crimes, meth offenses saw a significant rise, increasing by 19.73%. This increase places meth offenses in 2021 high than those reported in 2019.
Overall, juvenile arrests saw an increase of 30.11% from 2020. However, this is still lower than pre-pandemic numbers by 24.72%. When looking at Group A arrests, 7.65% were juveniles. For Group B arrests, 0.97% more juveniles were arrested in 2021.
In addition to arrests, the report also compiles data related to victims. The number of reported victims in Group A offenses fell by 2.3% between 2020 and 2021. This is very similar to the 2.19% decrease seen between 2019 and 2020. However, despite the overall drop, reported victims of simple assault increased by 1.31%.
For Knox County, the sheriff’s office saw a 15% increase in crime in 2021. The number of drug/narcotics violations from 2020-2021 increased by 33.05%. Arson offenses saw a decrease of 52.17%. The Knoxville Police Department saw a smaller increase of 9.11% in 2021. KPD saw a similar increase of 64.86% in drug/narcotics violations.