FAIRBANKS - The number of overall crimes in Fairbanks has fallen despite a rise in sexual assaults and burglaries.
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Homicides in the city reached a 13-year low last year while crime overall fell 15 percent.
Now Police Chief Dan Hoffman is calling for more officers to investigate sexual assaults and burglaries. Hoffman said the city's sexual assault rate - 68 were reported last year - is higher than the norm for a city with fewer than 32,000 residents.
The statistics apply only to Fairbanks police and do not count crimes reported to other agencies, including Alaska State Troopers.
The chief's annual crime report tracks eight categories from 2000 through 2006: homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, other assault, burglary, theft and vehicle theft.
The city's homicide rate typically totals less than five, and Hoffman said the drop to one homicide last year could hardly be touted as statistically significant. He noted a national decrease in violent crime.
"You have to go all the way back to 1993 to find the last year when we had only one homicide in Fairbanks," Hoffman said.
Fairbanks police have handled three homicides to date this year.