Total reported crimes in Seattle down in 2019, but gun violence still a concern

May 29, 2019, 2:50 PM
crime survey, Seattle crime, Seattle, police, prolific offenders, Seattle coronavirus crime...
Another prolific offender attack in Seattle, this time against a 68-year-old man on his way home from Bible study with his wife. (AP)

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan recently stated that specific types of crimes are up in certain neighborhoods in the city. But what do the numbers tell us about Seattle’s overall crime numbers? To start, total reported crimes are actually down over last year.

Durkan: Crime is up in certain Seattle neighborhoods

Through April 2018, there were 13,789 reported crimes inside of Seattle city limits. That number dipped to 12,439 in 2019, marked by decreases in each month. Much of that was driven by a year-over-year decrease in reported property crime, from 12,401 down to 11,038.

Meanwhile, reported “person” crimes (i.e. assault, homicide, theft, and rape) are slightly up year-over-year through April, increasing from 1,388 to 1,401. Even with recent shootings making headlines, reported crimes involving a firearm are actually down, from 160 to 154.

So, why the added emphasis police patrols in select Seattle neighborhoods? That’s driven by neighborhood-specific upticks in gun violence.

Seattle Police Captain Kevin Grossman posted on NextDoor that reports of shots fired in the city’s south precinct are up 65 percent over last year at this time.

“I am extremely concerned about the rate of gun violence in South Seattle–and in the City of Seattle as a whole,” Capt. Grossman said in his post. “In the last month, we have had more than one reported shooting a day somewhere in the city; two of those incidents resulted in death.”

Data provided to city council in a recent meeting pointed to a 21 percent increase in crime in South Park between 2017 and 2018, a 52 percent increase in person and property crime in Fremont, and a 30 percent increase in crime in SoDo.

Further data noted a 28 percent increase in crime in Pioneer Square, a 12 percent increase in Georgetown, and an 11 percent increase in South Ballard.

Those numbers were part of what drove the city’s emphasis patrols in downtown Seattle along the 3rd and Pike corridor, Pioneer Square, SoDo, Georgetown, South Park, Fremont, and Ballard.

Shootout injures 4, including baby, at South Seattle park

Annual summer emphasis patrols are also kicking off in Golden Gardens, Alki Beach, and Capitol Hill.

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Total reported crimes in Seattle down in 2019, but gun violence still a concern