MYNORTHWEST NEWS

State report: Wash. had highest amount of murders in a single year in 2022

Jul 10, 2023, 12:48 PM | Updated: 12:50 pm

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Seattle Police arrest a woman. (Photo by Jason Redmond via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason Redmond via Getty Images)

Murders and other violent crimes increased in Washington state at a dramatic pace last year, according to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs‘ (WASPC).

The report analyzed 2022’s crime data across the state.

“The rate of murders, violent, and property crimes rose across the state, while the number of officers available to respond and serve our communities decreased again in 2022,” the report read. “There were 394 murders in 2022, an increase of 16.6% over 2021. This is the highest number of murders recorded since WASPC began collecting this data in 1980. Homicides have increased by 96% since 2019. Crimes against persons, property, and society all increased in 2022, and violent crimes showed an increase of 8.9%.”

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The Crime in Washington 2022 report was compiled with data from 231 state, county, municipal, and tribal agencies within Washington.

More numbers

Other significant trends the report disclosed were motor vehicle theft rising by 34%, nearly 46% of all crimes against persons were defined as domestic violence, and 544 hate crimes were reported last year — all while the state logged 719 fewer arrests for drug or narcotic violations.

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“The total number of commissioned officers statewide was 10,666, down from 10,736 in 2021, while the total population of the state increased by 93,262,” the report continued. “Washington again is ranked 51st out of the 50 states and District of Columbia for the number of officers per thousand residents. Reported cases of officers assaulted were 2,375 in 2022, an increase of 20.7%.”

This follows a pattern the state saw last year with increases in violent crime. According to WASPC’s report, violent crime increased by 12.3% from 2020 to 2021. There were 325 murders recorded in 2021, an increase of 5.9% over 2020. The year 2021 had the highest number of murders recorded before 2022 broke its record.

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