The FBI this morning released the preliminary crime statistics for 2007.
The good news is there were declines reported in violent and property crimes. That mirrors what Tacoma and Pierce County experienced last year (and what we reported in March.)
Here are some highlights from the agency’s press release:
* All four of the violent crime offense categories declined nationwide in 2007 compared with data from 2006. Forcible rape decreased 4.3 percent, and murder and non-negligent manslaughter declined 2.7 percent. Robbery and aggravated assault offenses each decreased 1.2 percent.
* Forcible rape declined in all population groupings. Cities with one million or more inhabitants experienced the greatest decline, at 8.0 percent.
* Property crime decreased in all city groupings. Cities with 250,000 to 499,999 inhabitants had the greatest decrease in property crimes with a decline of 4.2 percent. Non-metropolitan counties saw a 1.7 percent decrease in property crime, and metropolitan counties had a 1.6 percent decline.
* Burglary offenses ranged from a decrease of 3.3 percent in cities with 500,000 to 999,999 persons to an increase of 4.0 percent in cities with one million or more inhabitants.
* Motor vehicle theft experienced declines in all population groupings.
* Arson offenses, tracked separately from other property crimes, decreased 7.0 percent nationwide and declined in each of the population groupings.
See below for my March story on Tacoma and Pierce County’s crime stats for 2007.
Could be it’s a bit safer out there
Crimes drop in Tacoma, Pierce County. Area law enforcement agencies report lower crime numbers overall for 2007. Property crimes fell 6 to 11 percent. Tacoma saw a slight rise in violence.
By Stacey Mulick; Stacey.firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday,March 31, 2008
The crime numbers are in for 2007 and with results come some good news.
Overall, crime dropped in Tacoma and Pierce County. The biggest drops occurred in property crimes reported to Tacoma Police and the Pierce County Sheriff’s departments.
The big picture: Crime decreased more than 10 percent in Tacoma and more than six percent in unincorporated Pierce County.
In Tacoma: For the second straight year, property crime dropped in the city and violent crime increased. The drop in property crime was more significant – declining more than 11 percent from 16,663 reported crimes in 2006 to 14,736 in 2007. The department received fewer reports of burglaries, thefts, car thefts and arsons.
Violent crime increased in 2007 by 0.72 percent, climbing from 2,076 in 2006 to 2,091 last year.
In Pierce County: Sheriff’s deputies patrolling the unincorporated county handled fewer violent and property crimes last year. Violent crime dropped more than nine percent, going from 1,196 reports in 2006 to 1,088 in 2007. Property crime decreased by more than six percent, going from 10,870 in 2006 to 10,148 last year.
Violent crimes are: Murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault.
Property crimes are: Burglary, larceny/theft, arson and motor vehicle theft.
Behind the numbers: Tacoma police and Pierce County sheriff’s officials point to two factors in why property crimes might be falling.
First, detectives from both agencies have focused their attention on arresting prolific criminals who are responsible for a series of crimes.
“You pull off some of those good ones and you make a huge dent in your crime,” Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
In addition, insurance companies and financial institutions are not requiring police reports from customers before processing their claims for stolen property or other crimes.
“So, people are not being required to call us,” Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.
That doesn’t mean the crime isn’t happening.
Troyer also said some residents might be indifferent to calling law enforcement officers when they’ve been the victim of a crime.
“We understand that when deputies don’t respond it becomes as frustrating for (residents) as it does us,” he said.
However, people should still call.
“We want to know trends in neighborhoods,” Troyer said. “We want to record it.”
Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268
SIDEBAR: For more information
Statistics for Tacoma, Bonney Lake, Edgewood, Puyallup, South Prairie, University Place and unincorporated Pierce County can be searched at www. piercecountycrimedata.org.
More Tacoma crime statistics: Available on the police department’s Web site at www.tacomapolice.org.
Other local law enforcement agencies: Most neighborhood statistics available on the Web.