This Montana City Has Been Labeled as Having the State’s Highest Crime Rate
Although renowned for its outdoor activities, wildlife, and natural beauty, Billings, Montana is not always peaceful and secure. Recent FBI crime statistics identify Billings as the most criminally active municipality in the state, with violent and property crimes surpassing the national averages. Consider the factors that distinguish Billings in this respect.
Billings is the most perilous city in Montana
Billings, the most populous municipality in Montana, ranks first on the state’s list of high-crime areas. With a crime rate of 55 incidents per 1,000 residents, the city is regarded as one of the most perilous urban areas in the country. The probability of individuals, whether locals or tourists, coming into contact with criminal activity is 1 in 18.
Billings demonstrates a violent crime rate that is among the highest in the nation, as evidenced by the 1 in 101 odds of an individual falling victim to rape, armed robbery, manslaughter, aggravated assault, or murder. A total of 1,177 violent crimes were documented in Billings in 2019. These crimes included 121 rapes, 224 robberies, and 822 aggravated assaults.
Property crime is conspicuously prevalent in Billings, where the likelihood of becoming a victim is 1 in 22, which corresponds to a rate of 46 per one thousand inhabitants. This value exceeds the average for the nation, which is 19.6. Assorted property offenses include burglary, arson, car theft, and larceny. There were 5,386 property crimes reported in Billings in 2019, including 1,006 burglaries, 3,512 larcenies, and 868 thefts of motor vehicles.
Aspects Contributing to the High Crime Rate in Billings
Numerous elements contribute to the elevated crime rate in Billings, including:
Population Growth: Rapid population growth has occurred in Billings as a result of the city’s favorable economic climate and high standard of living. Nevertheless, the increase in population may give rise to social discord and complications concerning the scarcity of services and resources.
Drug Trafficking: Due to its strategic location along major drug trafficking routes (Interstate 90 and Interstate 94) that originate from Canada and Mexico, Billings has emerged as a central node for the distribution and consumption of illicit substances such as fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin. Substance abuse and addiction frequently motivate violent and property crimes.
Gang Activity: A surge in gang-related violence has been observed in Billings, Montana, with Native American gangs such as the Indian Posse and the Native Syndicate being the most prominent. Drug trafficking, robbery, assault, and murder are activities in which these gangs frequently target rival gangs and innocent bystanders.
Lack of Law Enforcement: Billings is confronted with a dearth of law enforcement personnel and necessary resources to effectively address the escalating crime rate. Due to the fact that it has more than 100,000 residents and only about 150 sworn officers, the municipality encounters difficulties such as insufficient patrols, investigations, prosecutions, and arrests. Budget cuts, low morale, and high employee turnover all contribute to the deterioration of the situation.
While Billings provides a plethora of benefits and attractions for its visitors and residents, it also grapples with the significant obstacle of a substantial crime rate. According to FBI data, the city in question has the highest crime rate in Montana, exceeding the national averages in both violent and property crimes. Effective collaboration and coordination among diverse stakeholders—such as municipal authorities, community organizations, law enforcement agencies, and members of the public—are critical in addressing the underlying factors and repercussions of criminal activity. Through collaborative efforts, it is possible to make Billings a safer and more enjoyable environment for all.