Laramie County District Attorney Jeremiah Sandburg says the county has the dubious distinction of having the state's highest crime rate.

In fact, the D.A. says the increase in Laramie County crime last year was so large that it pushed the overall Wyoming crime rate up by 3.2 percent, one of the biggest crime rate increases in the country. Without Laramie County, the overall state crime rate would have shown a 1 percent decrease in crime. Sandburg says those figures are compiled using the Uniform Crime Reporting [UCR] system used by the FBI and many other law enforcement agencies across the country.

Sandburg says those UCR part 1 statistics include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and battery, burglary, theft, arson and motor vehicle theft. The D.A. says Laramie County recorded 3,184 criminal ''events'' in 2016, for a crime rate 0f 32.7 percent.

Natrona County, by comparison, only had 2,249 ''events" for a crime rate of 27.1 percent.

Those numbers are compiled by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation [DCI]. You can read the full report here. But Sandberg says the good news is that Wyoming as a whole has a very low crime rate.

He says one interesting fact is that while the Cowboy State has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the country, shootings in Wyoming are quite rare. The D.A. says it's ''hard to shoot a human being.''

He adds that even instances where people are using a gun to defend themselves or their property, they rarely actually shoot anyone, opting instead to use the gun to restrain criminals until police can show up at the scene.

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