Overall Tennessee Crime Down in 2021, DUI Arrests Rise: TBI Report

Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s 2021 Crime in Tennessee report was released on Tuesday. The report provides insight into the amount and type of crime that occurs in the state.

The report pulls together data submitted to the TBI Tennessee incident-based reporting system to find trends within the state. Statewide, overall crime saw a slight decrease from 2020, dropping 1.38%. According to the TBI, this coincides with a national trend of reducing overall crime.

In 2020, the TBI said the impact of COVID was undeniably in the data due to closures of workplaces, schools and more. For 2021, they said a “notable impact” was still seen, but not as pronounced in 2021 as it was in 2020.

The report divides the arrests into two groups. Group A represents serious and violent crimes such as cruelty to animals, drug offenses and murder. Group B offenses include disorderly conduct, impaired driving and vagrancy offences. In 2021, Group A offenses decreased by 1.38% compared to 2020, while Group B arrests increased slightly by 0.97%. The highest number of Group A arrests occurred in July with 45,550 arrests, while February saw the fewest arrests with 35,453.

In 2021, 18,757 people were arrested for impaired driving marking a 3.03% increase from 2020 and marking the first increase since at least 2016. Even with this increase, impaired driving arrests remain 4.34% lower than pre-pandemic figures. When it comes to other drug-related crimes, methamphetamine-related offenses saw a significant increase, increasing by 19.73%. This increase puts methamphetamine-related offenses in 2021 higher than those reported in 2019.

Globally, arrests of minors have increased 30.11% compared to 2020. However, this remains 24.72% lower than the pre-pandemic figures. When looking at Group A arrests, 7.65% were minors. For Group B arrests, 0.97% more minors were arrested in 2021.

In addition to arrests, the report also compiles data relating to victims. The number of victims reported in Group A offenses decreased 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 decline, victims reported cases of common assault increased by 1.31%.

For Knox County, the the sheriff’s office saw a 15% increase in crime in 2021. The number of drug/narcotic offenses from 2020 to 2021 increased by 33.05%.

Arson cases were down 52.17%. The The Knoxville Police Department saw a smaller increase by 9.11% in 2021. The KPD recorded a similar increase of 64.86% in drug and narcotics offences.


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