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Higher oil prices bring more people, more crime

Posted 7/11/18 (Wed)

Higher oil prices bring more people, more crime

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

As oil prices have been steadily increasing for the past six months, the resurgence in oil activity in McKenzie County has brought more people to this bustling community that lies at the very epicenter of the Bakken Oil Formation.
And with that renewed activity, so has the level of criminal activity that the Watford City Police Department is facing on an almost daily basis as more and more people flock into the community looking for jobs in the oil patch.
“There seems to be a direct correlation between the price of oil and the amount of calls for service and crime activity that we see,” states Shawn Doble, Watford City police chief. “As oil price goes up, so does our volume of calls and the number of crimes that we see.”
Doble now has the numbers that prove that trend.
“In January of this year when oil prices were just above $60 per barrel, we had 1,562 calls for service,” states Doble. “When oil prices were in the mid-$50 range in January of 2017, we had 1,025 calls.”

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