Crime Wave in Saratoga Springs?
Published: September 29, 2012 10:04PM
Updated: September 30, 2012 09:43AM
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This chart shows the unified crime rate for Saratoga Springs, Utah County and the State of Utah, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety statistics.

Hide your kids, hide your wife. There’s a crime wave sweeping through … Saratoga Springs?

An ad by Center Forward PAC — which is supporting Rep. Jim Matheson — makes the claim that Saratoga Springs experienced “skyrocketing crime” during Mia Love’s tenure on the city council and as mayor.

But the data doesn’t actually bear out the claim. The chart above shows that the crime rate in Saratoga Springs is considerably lower than the rest of Utah County and is roughly a third of what the crime rate is statewide.

There was a 400 percent increase in rape and aggravated assault from 2009 to 2010, but the numbers — rising from one case of each to five cases of each — remain small.

Matheson made a claim a few weeks ago, asserting that burglaries increased nearly 400 percent in Saratoga Springs in one year. He has since said he was wrong about those numbers.

The Center Forward ad also says that Love wanted to cut the city’s police budget — a statement that Matheson has also made. That seems to be valid. The city council meeting minutes from May 2008, which the Center Forward ad cites, shows that when the city was facing a budget crisis, she challenged the police to cut their budget.

-- Robert Gehrke
Twitter: @RobertGehrke