Wednesday night, following a disturbing series of incidents including two stabbings in Cal Anderson Park, groups, local businesses and neighbors will hold a rally and march to launch a new “block watch” initiative on Capitol Hill.
While statistics compiled by the Seattle Police Department show that crime totals increased on Capitol Hill in 2012, CHS’s analysis of the start of 2013 shows that SPD’s totals actually show crime is down in the area compared to the same period in 2012.
A major downtick in reported thefts has helped fuel the drop but fewer assaults and a flat performance for vehicle thieves rounded out the overall 10% drop compared to 2012. Burglaries — including commercial and residential break-ins, on the other hand, nearly doubled compared to the same period last year. And the much smaller total of reported robberies also showed a disturbing jump.
The breakdown by beat reveals the hotspots — and where things cooled down compared to last year:
- Burglars have been busier everywhere on the Hill but especially in the southern beats of C2 and E2
- Robbery reports in the north in C1 are pretty rare — there were zero in the first three months of 2012. There were four there in the first three months of 2013 plus an increase everywhere else but western E1.
- Thefts, covering everything from store ripoffs to stolen bikes, were down significantly in every beat but up north in residential C1. We’ll check in with East Precinct to see if there is any explanation for the drop. We’ve heard anecdotally, for example, that there has been an increase in theft related to liquor now being available in grocery stores — these numbers don’t seem to bear that out.
The totals do show, however, that overall, Capitol Hill’s first three months of 2013 were less crime-y than the same period in 2012. If it helps, take a look at the datasets the next time you feel like things are going to hell in a handbasket. The numbers say, nope — well, except for the burglary part. When the numbers for April and May are released, we’ll update and see if the story remains the same.