Report cites Seattle crime rate drop for 2006

Crime data for 2006 indicates that Seattle residents are still living in one of the safest major metropolitan cities in America, according to statistics released last recently by the offices of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske.

Total crime for 2006 decreased 8.2 percent, largely due to a solid reduction in property crimes. In 2005, violent crimes increased 8.2 percent, but last year the trend leveled off, with only a 0.8 percent increase. Property crimes dropped sharply by 9 percent from the previous year.

"We are taking steps to reduce crime even more by working closely with neighborhoods and putting more officers on the streets," Nickels said. "But the disturbing counterpoint to our mostly positive numbers is that assaults with firearms continue to rise. This must stop, and we have asked our state legislature to pass common-sense laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals."

"The legislative session is still young," Kerlikowske observed, "and we'll continue lobbying for laws to require background checks at gun shows, hold adults responsible when children get hold of loaded guns, and to ban assault weapons."

The year 2006 was also the year of the Capitol Hill murders and the attack at the Jewish Federation. Overall, homicides totaled 30 - five more than in the previous year. Coinciding with the increase in homicides, aggravated assaults with firearms continued their upward trend.

The number of crimes in which guns were used, threatened or implied has increased 18 percent since 2005 and 46 percent since 2004.

There was a sharp decrease in property crimes, auto thefts were down by 14.8 percent and larceny was down 12 percent. In the burglary category, the 12.6 percent reduction in 2005 was negated by a 2006 increase of 11 percent.

Because many property crimes are crimes of opportunity, the Seattle Police Department will continue efforts to encourage residents to adopt simple crime-prevention measures into their daily routines.

[[In-content Ad]]