Drilling boom brings surge in crime to small towns
October 26, 2011
TOWANDA, Pa. (AP) — Some small towns in the U.S. that are enjoying a boom in oil and gas drilling are seeing a rise in crime. And it’s being blamed on an influx of young men with lots of money and nothing to do after they get off work.
In Pennsylvania and North Dakota, local law enforcement agencies are digging in against an explosion of drunken-driving arrests, bar fights, domestic disturbances and other trouble.
Authorities are quick to point out that the vast majority of people who are part of the drilling boom are law-abiding. But they also say the industry brings with it a rough-and-tumble element.
In heavily drilled Bradford County, Pa., DUIs are rising fast. In western North Dakota’s oil patch, Williams County Sheriff Scott Busching says his officers are almost overwhelmed.