WKYT Fact✓Check | Where do the candidates stand on crime?

Daniel Cameron is accusing Andy Beshear of lying about crime stats. The Governor says the Attorney General is taking zero responsibility for the numbers.
Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 4:15 PM EDT
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KENTUCKY (WKYT) - In the race for Kentucky governor, we are taking a look at another heated issue: crime.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron is accusing Governor Andy Beshear of lying about crime statistics The governor says the attorney general is taking zero responsibility for the numbers.

The Governor joined state police at the Capitol this past summer, when the agency revealed recent crime numbers. Together, they touted significant drops in violent crimes in the state.

“Law enforcement in Kentucky have worked so hard to bring these numbers down from 2021,” said Commissioner Phillip Burnett.

Soon after, the Herald-Leader reported the crime data exaggerated a drop in homicides and WDRB reported the numbers coming from the Louisville Metro Police Department were initially incorrect.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron talked about it on Kentucky Newsmakers with Bill Bryant.

“The state tried to show that there’s been a 19% decrease in crime. Turns out, that was a lie. There was actually a 12% increase under the Beshear administration,” Cameron said.

Statewide numbers from the 2022 Commonwealth of Kentucky Crime Report show a 9.21% decrease in crimes.

WKYT looked at all group A offenses in Kentucky, those are the most violent of crimes against people or property. Last year, there were close to 222,000.

Homicide numbers are part of the overall crime numbers, and they are not down to what they were pre-pandemic. The Governor said during a debate at Northern Kentucky University the pair should share the blame when it comes to high homicide numbers.

“The fact that he just tried to blame me entirely for a rise in crime when he’s the ‘top cop’ shows you that he plays the blame game, the partisan game, and doesn’t try to come up with those solutions,” Beshear said.

Larceny and theft offenses make up the majority of group A offenses, followed closely by drug and narcotic offenses.

Larceny theft has been on the decline in the past ten years.

Drug offenses were steadily climbing up until 2018. There was a small rise during the pandemic in 2021, but that number is trending down again.

Assault numbers are slowly decreasing, after peaking during in 2020.

Both vandalism and burglary are declining as well.

The attorney general released his public safety plan back in July. He wants $5,000 bonuses for law enforcement and a new state police post in Louisville.

In August, Governor Andy Beshear talked about his priorities in the next budget. They included more pay raises for state police, more training stipends, and upgraded body armor.