Thursday, June 4, 2009

Car prowl incidents up big time

Our friends at the Central District News have proven much more resourceful that I in getting neighborhood major-crime data for the East Precinct from the Seattle Police. CDN’s analysis, Crime Stats Released, shows that our beat (C3 on the map in the post below) experienced not a single homicide in 2008, which was also true for the first four months of this year. Vehicle thefts are down for the 16-month period. The CDN reports, however, that the police have confirmed to them that car prowl incidents and the theft of auto accessories (which are not “major” crimes) are up 100% in the East Precinct over the past year.

For our reporting area (which includes Madison Valley and part of Madrona) crimes in the other categories seem to be at a pretty stable level, though non-auto thefts have been trending up—going from under 20 per month in January 2008 to well over 20 per month in April 2009. The run rate for assaults in our community is about 5 per month, and the rate for burglaries is about 10.

While the April numbers for the East Precinct show an increase in overall crime from the trend of the previous 15 months, it will not be clear for several months if this is an aberrant peak in a downward trend or something else.

This is perhaps a good point to reiterate that the Seattle Police make officer assignments each year based on the number of reported crimes. The East Precinct accounted for 18% of reported crimes in 2008 and has been allocated 18% of the total police force, according to the City. That gives us 88 officers out of the 496 total.

[Above graphic courtesy of the Seattle Police.]

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