County attorney says crime rates rising

Washington County Attorney John Gish

WASHINGTON — Washington County Attorney John Gish said data from 2022 showed broken records for indictments and collections, based on charges prosecuted by his office.

The yearly total shows 490 indictments files in 2022, compared to 2021’s count of 490, and an annual average of 348 from 2013-2020. For collections, the 2022’s amount was $266,072, up from $264,630 in 2021. The annual average from 2013-2020 was $204,138.

“Drug possession remains the number one crime in Washington County, with methamphetamine possession being the drug of choice … operating while intoxicated was consistently number two,” Gish said in an email. “From 2020 to 2022, each of the top 10 crimes saw an increase.”

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Gish said those increases were not evenly distributed across charges, however.

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“Since 2020, crimes of domestic abuse assault, and driving while license is denied, suspended, canceled, or revoked have sustained the highest increases at 61%,” he said. “Meanwhile, assault had the smallest increase in charges, at 13%.”

The County Attorney said the data may not provide a full picture Washington County’s lawbreaking incidents.

“This data reflects what the county attorney’s office actually charged and prosecuted, and is not an accurate measure of every criminal charge filed,” he said. “For example, some defendants may plead guilty to a traffic offense before it is ever transferred to the county attorney’s office for prosecution.”


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