Thursday, March 4, 2010

The crime stats were not so bad

The Seattle Police reported the City’s 2009 crime statistics a few weeks ago, and the numbers were not good. Violent crimes were up 12% year-over-year, while property crimes increased by 7%. But what’s the story for our part of town?

The short answer is that the trends our Charlie 3 beat of the SPD’s East Precinct appear to run counter to the City as a whole. This, in spite of the fact that I’d been reporting during the year that crime here was actually on the rise. That was true for the January through September period, but the fourth quarter showed a substantial decline, reversing the earlier trend line.

In line with the overall trend for major crimes, both burglaries and car thefts were down in the fourth quarter relative to the third quarter numbers:

Our area has very few violent crimes in any given year, with only 90 such crimes (homicide, rape, robbery and assault) reported during 2009. But this was actually a 16% decrease from the 107 reported in 2008 for our beat. There were no homicides and only one rape reported in each year.

The total number of reported major crimes in Charlie 3 was down during 2009, with only 571 reported versus 639 in 2008, a 19% decline.

Here’s a comparison of the major crime trend lines for Charlie 3 for the past two years:

So, while the crime situation did appear to be headed in the wrong direction during much of 2009, the cycle of crime last year was not that different from 2008’s. And the news for the year as a whole actually turned out to be fairly positive.

I’ll try to resist posting anymore “the sky is falling” crime reports (unless absolutely warranted).

[Photo of March 3 arrest on Capitol Hill by D G H on]

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