Just How Bad is Seattle Crime?
by Lewis & Laws
Just How Bad is Seattle Crime?
When the crime rate in the city of Seattle is compared between the years of 2008-2010 and 2015-2017, it appears that overall, the rate of crime has decreased. (While in actuality, the crime rate between these two periods of time actually increased about 13 percent, when you take into account the fact that Seattle saw a population growth of about 19 percent in the same time frame, the net result is a decrease in crime). This means that the crime rate went from about 60 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2010 to about 58 crimes per 1,000 residents by 2017.
This drop in crime can be attributed primarily to a large drop in property crimes, since the violent crime rate actually went up about 11 percent. This rise in violent crimes should not been seen with total alarm, since, when compared to other major U.S. cities, Seattle actually has a fairly low rate of violent crimes.
Not All of Seattle Saw a Drop in Crime
Unfortunately, this overall decline in criminal activity does not hold true for the entire city of Seattle, as there seems to be a definite difference between the north side of Seattle and the south side. When 57 Seattle city neighborhoods were scrutinized (as far as the crime rate), 31 of these neighborhoods showed a drop in the overall crime rate—meaning 25 neighborhoods either saw no decrease in the number of crimes or experienced an increase in crimes, particularly in violent crimes.
North Seattle Sees an Increase in Crime Rates
- Arbor Heights
- Madison Park
Affluent Areas of Seattle are Not Exempt from a Rise in Crime
Magnolia and Madison Park happen to be two of the most affluent areas in Seattle. To put the rise in criminal activity in these two areas into perspective, even with the jump, both neighborhoods remain relatively safe with about 35 crimes per 1,000 residents.
South Seattle Sees a Decline in Crime Rates
In South Seattle, almost every neighborhood saw a decline in the rate of crime except for Judkins Park/North Beacon Hill. The Seattle neighborhood with the largest decline in both property and violent crimes is South Lake Union, which also happens to be the fastest-growing area of Seattle.
Other Seattle neighborhoods which have also seen a drop in the crime rate include the Brighton/Dunlap area and Pigeon Point.
The Chinatown International District unfortunately saw an increase in both property crimes and violent crimes.
Not All Crimes are Reported
It is important to remember that not all crimes are reported—in fact, a significant number of crimes go unreported. The demographic most likely to report a crime is older, married, white women, followed by older, married, white men. Overall, older whites are more likely to trust the police and have confidence in the ability of the police to investigate a crime.
Those who are younger, and people of color are much less likely to report a crime, particularly a crime which does not result in injury.
Another factor—emotional distress—can also contribute to whether a person reports a crime or not, as can a person’s perception of how the police will respond to the report. Overall, those victims of crime who experienced strong emotional reactions to the crime, whether fear, shock, depression or anger, were more likely to report the crime to the police.
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