Murder, car thefts at historic lows in Seattle

Mar 8, 2011

The homicide rate in Seattle is at its lowest level since 1958.  Most other major crime is down as well.

Murder, rape, robbery and other violent crime was down 9 percent in 2010 compared to 2009. The 2010 crime statistics were released Tuesday by the Seattle Police Department. As KPLU reported, the  Seattle Police Department has also released a report showing that the use of force by officers is rare and below the national average.

The crime statistics follow a decade long downward trend in crime in Seattle and in the country.

Car thefts did go up slightly in 2010 in Seattle, but Seattle Police Chief John Diaz says if you look back at how bad it used to be it’s still a major improvement.

"In 2005, we had 9,500 cars stolen in this city. I don’t think there was a car left to steal.  There were multiple victims multiple times," he said.

By comparison,  only 3,453 were stolen last year.

Diaz cites a number of reasons for declining crime rates in Seattle:

  1. Community awareness and crime prevention campaigns that target drivers and homeowners.
  2. Re-deploying officers to crime hot spots based on a weekly analysis of statistics.
  3. Targeting serial offenders.
  4. Taking a regional approach to crime by working more closely with other law enforcement agencies. 

Not all the 2010 crime statistic news was good.  Aggravated assault was up because of an increase in domestic violence.