Seattle saw drop in crime from 2016, report says
Crime is down in Seattle across most reported categories, according to a Seattle Police Department report released Wednesday.
The most recent SeaStat report compares crime data from 2016 and 2017 that occurred in Seattle between January 1 and March 15. These include everything from vehicle theft and arson to homicide and aggravated assault, among other crimes committed against both person and property.
The SeaStat report is a collection of data that helps the department allocate its resources and more effectively combat serious crime.
The report shows that crime fell in all categories but two: domestic violence and arson. Across the board, crime in the observed categories was reduced by 14 percent since the same period of time last year, going from 8,878 total crimes to 7,643.
Car prowls and larceny-theft consistently see the highest numbers with burglary, both residential and commercial, close behind. Arson and homicide are the most infrequent. There were 2,689 car prowls reported in 2017 to date, and 2,004 car thefts reported.
There were 34 cases of arson in Seattle during the last two and a half months, which is up from 16 during the same time period last year.
Seattle saw just two cases of homicide between January and mid-March this year, a marginal decrease from the six cases it saw last year.
The complete report can be found here.
SeaStat—which is Seattle’s variation of a real-time data analytics project used in police departments around the country and typically called “CompStat”—was launched here by Chief of Police Kathleen O’Toole in an effort to bring best business practices to the department.
SPD staff and members of its partner agencies meet every two weeks to discuss the latest information and consider new ways to reduce crime.
According to a case study carried out by the Center for Government Excellence, the department had been using stat programs by the time O’Toole was sworn in as the Chief of SPD in June 2013. They were called “Crime Review” and “Crime Capsule.” But O’Toole saw that crime and operations data was seldom utilized, so she requested that the crime data center compile monthly reports on property crimes by precinct. This yielded clear results, showing that the “numbers told a different story than the anecdotal remarks.”