Crime rates in Alaska are generally higher than the national average, with a higher incidence of violent crimes such as homicide, sexual assault, and robbery. Several factors contribute to the high crime rate in Alaska.
According to research published in October 2022, Alaska, New Mexico, and Tennessee had the highest rates of murder, rape, and other violent crimes in the country.
Based on a breakdown of FBI data from 2020 on rates for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and assault across the U.S., Alaska ranked highest with 837.8 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people.
Alaska is also presumed to be the most dangerous state for women. 59% of the women there have been hurt by violence.
Experts believe education is the best way to stop the violent Alaska epidemic. Young people need to recognize that violence will never be a way to care for someone. Alaska is particularly threatening to Alaska Natives residents, most of whom reside in small rural communities in the state’s most secluded regions. In 2017, 42% of all victims of felony-level sexual assaults that were reported to Alaska police were Alaska Natives. Women in such settlements have difficulty reporting sexual assaults and domestic violence.
Why is the crime rate so high in Alaska?
One factor is the state’s remote location and vast wilderness areas, making it difficult for law enforcement to patrol and respond to crimes. Additionally, the state’s population is dispersed, with many small communities and rural areas isolated from larger cities and towns. This can make it easier for criminals to operate without being detected. So, Alaska has a high violent crime rate simply because many of its villages and towns lack local police departments. The only thing you can do in such a situation is phone the nearest law enforcement office and report the incident. You will have to wait long hours, if not days, for them to reach you.
Due to state budgetary restraints, troopers are not stationed in all communities and must commute to remote places. When the weather permits Alaskan troopers to venture out, they must first arrange a plane from the state, which might take up to two days.
The second factor is the state’s high poverty and unemployment rates, which are linked to high crime rates. The state has a high rate of poverty among indigenous populations and a high unemployment rate among young people, which can lead to increased criminal activity.
Rural Alaska is characterized by isolation, and the unemployment rate is so high that many residents, particularly men, have even just ceased seeking work.
Drug abuse, particularly methamphetamine, is also a significant contributor to crime in Alaska. The state has a high rate of drug abuse and drug-related crimes, which can lead to an increase in other types of crimes, such as theft and burglary.
Domestic violence is prevalent in Alaska at an alarmingly high incidence. The Alaska Criminal Justice Commission has announced the release of its latest research, which focuses on Alaska’s very high incidence of domestic violence and how the state responds to it and attempts to avoid it in the future.
Every five years, the commission conducts the Alaska Victimization Survey, in which respondents are asked whether they have experienced sexual violence, violence from an intimate partner, or both. According to the 2020 poll, nearly half of adult Alaska women (48%) have experienced intimate partner abuse in their lifetime. According to the current data, this is an upsurge from the rates in both the 2010 and 2015 polls.
Alaska has a large transient population, including seasonal workers, which can make it difficult for law enforcement to track down suspects and can lead to an increase in crime.