Crime rate plummets except in Peabody
Crime in Marion County declined significantly last year, remaining at less than half the state average.
But the number of offenses per 1,000 people rose sharply in Peabody, which has twice the crime rate of other cities in the county and now exceeds the state average.
New data released this past week by Kansas Bureau of Investigation lists Marion County’s overall crime rate in 2019 as 12.9 offenses per 1,000 residents.
That’s down from 14.3 in 2018 and compares favorably to a statewide rate of 29.3.
It also is lower than the crime rates in all surrounding counties except Chase (0.4) and Morris (9.2).
Among counties bordering Marion, Saline (40.6) had the most crime, followed by Butler (20.7), Harvey (18.9), Dickinson (16.3), and McPherson (15.5).
All except Saline are below the state average of 29.3. Sedgwick County had a crime rate of 53.3.
In Marion County, the lowest crime rate was reported for Goessel (6.0), followed by rural areas patrolled by sheriff’s deputies (10.0), Marion (11.9), Hillsboro (14.6), and Peabody (26.4).
A year earlier, Goessel had a crime rate of 0, followed by Marion (7.8), rural areas (14.2), Hillsboro (17.7), Burns (19.8), and Peabody (21.8).
Florence filed no report for either year. Burns filed no report for 2019.
Violent crime also declined significantly in the county, with the crime rate per 1,000 residents falling from 3.1 to 1.3. Statewide, the violent crime rate rose to 4.3.
Saline (4.8) was the most violent neighboring county, followed by Harvey (3.4), Dickinson and Morris (both 2.4), Butler and McPherson (both 1.8), and, just below Marion, Chase (0.0). In comparison, Sedgwick County’s rate was 9.2.
Peabody and rural areas led Marion County in violent crime last year with identical rates of 1.8 per 1,000 residents. Hillsboro was next at 0.7. Marion had 0.6, and no other community reported violent crime.
All county jurisdictions saw a decline in violent crime rate from 2018. That year, rural areas had the highest rate (5.4), followed by Peabody (2.7), and both Marion and Hillsboro (1.1).