Why isn’t Capitol Hill more afraid of crime?

The 33,000 or so residents and countless more visitors on Capitol Hill have experienced a reported violent crime like homicides, rape, robbery, and assault every day on average in 2018.

In Ballard, the rate of violent crime has been about half of busy Capitol Hill’s pace.

But residents of Capitol Hill and its East Precinct neighbors — First Hill, Montlake, the Central District, Madison Park, and the nearby — express less fear than their northern neighbors who this year topped the charts with their anxiety about Seattle crime. Continue reading

Capitol Hill crime trends dip but more assaults, more burglaries

The Seattle Police Department has released its reports on 2017 crime showing “a continued overall downward trend in crime in Seattle.” CHS took a look behind the numbers and found a similar overall direction for Capitol Hill and across the neighborhood’s East Precinct where you were much more likely to be punched, even more likely to be burgled, but less likely to be robbed or have your car stolen in 2017.

Overall, crime in the city dropped 1% in 2017 — the much more numerous property crimes fell 2% year over year while crimes vs. people jumped 7% thanks (or no thanks) to a 13% rise in assaults. Seattle was also a deadlier city in 2017 with a jump in homicides from 18 to 27. Continue reading

SPD ‘micro community’ policing survey shows ‘strong level of trust’

On Capitol Hill, the main issues are mental illness, car prowls, and graffiti. The biggest crime issue people had to complain about on First Hill is littering and illegal dumping. Meanwhile in the Central District, people are worried about getting shot, car prowls… and, well, getting shot. This from the results of a Seattle University-run survey on behalf of the Seattle Police Department as part of its ongoing “micro community” policing plan.

Limited results from the survey and a new micro community policing site were announced Thursday:

MCPP are the result of grassroots efforts, with direct collaboration from residents, business leaders, stakeholders, and police officers on the beat. Under the MCPP, community residents work in partnership with their local precinct captain and Community Policing Team to identify problems, analyze existing quality of life and crime data, and design individualized plans to reduce and prevent crime.

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Industry analyst says Seattle’s rent spike is real but part of a less alarming longterm trend

20150612SeattleOverallRentTrendByBRDepending on how you slice it, rental data on Capitol Hill can tell a few different stories. Real estate analyst Mike Scott, one of the most cited sources on rent trends in the region, says a recent spike in Seattle rent is only a small part of a less alarming trend.

Dupre+Scott Apartment Advisors says their dataset shows rents in Seattle went up around 2.3% a year on average since 2000 while owner/investor costs like property taxes and utility expenses rose at higher rates. Rent increases also ebbed and flowed during that time, especially during the Great Recession.

“Rents are impacted by a lot of things, like the economy and how much competition there is from new supply, to name just two,” Scott wrote in his most recent weekly column.

Still, rents are undeniably on the rise. Average rents in Seattle rose 8.3% last year, according to Dupre+Scott data. Scott says that spike can largely be accounted for by the opening of new units with better amenities. But even when new units are taken out of the equation, average rents still rose 7.5% over the past year. Continue reading

Weekend mugging swarm has August shaping up as Capitol Hill’s most rob-biest month… ever

On a per capita basis, your odds for getting mugged on Capitol Hill probably peaked in the mid-90s but after a small swarm of street robberies around the Hill this weekend, August 2014 appears to be shaping up as the worst month in recent years for robbery in the East Precinct beats covering Capitol Hill.

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This weekend pushed the month over the top with a roster of reports coming in:

  • 8/22 2:52 AM: Two males reportedly hit victim near Broadway Market QFC. Medics were declined. Victim lived nearby.
  • 8/23 1:32 AM: Victim found on sidewalk near Broadway/Pike, suspect last seen fleeing on the Harvard Market stairs. Suspects described only as “group of black males in their 20s.”
  • 8/23 1:55 AM: Report of fist fight at 11/Union turned out to be street robbery. Suspects ran northbound on 11th Ave described as three black males, all wearing beanies and shorts. Two adult male victims suffered head lacerations in the scuffle.
  • 8/23 3 AM: Suspect reportedly stole something from a female victim’s purse. She fell chasing the thief near 13th/Olive St. Her male counterpart told police he thought suspects fled to Cal Anderson. The perpetrator was described only as a “short, white male.”
  • 8/24 10:21 PM: E Pine near Harvard. Caller reported 10 people attempted a strong arm robbery, trying to take wallet out of victim’s hand and threatened him with knife but didn’t show. The group was described only as black males and female teens. The group was last seen leaving the area on Harvard.

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Broadway bikeway getting 500+ daily weekday rides thanks to commuters and warm(er) weather cyclists

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(Image: CHS)

For the first time since the Broadway bikeway partially opened in October, we’re getting a look at ridership data on Capitol Hill’s signature protected bike lanes. CHS recently obtained Seattle Department of Transportation’s Broadway counter data including hourly bike trip totals from January to May taken from a sensor located between Pike and Union.

Perhaps most interesting is the number of daily rides: In May, there was an average of 409 trips a day on the bikeway, including northbound and southbound rides. By the end of that month, weekday totals were easily approaching 600 rides. Weekday averages have climbed steadily since January, with a slight dip in February likely due to some hectic reroutes during construction of the Capitol Hill Station underground concourse:

Here are the Broadway bikeway weekday averages by month:

  • January: 270
  • February: 231
  • March: 276
  • April: 313
  • May: 464

The single most active day in the first five months of 2014 was May 14th, with 598 trips. Continue reading

Safety from hate crime gave Seattle edge* over SF in ‘gay friendly’ ranks

As 2014 Pride gets underway around Capitol Hill, mainstream media has been reporting on a list of the nation’s “Most LGBT-Friendly Cities.”

The data-driven approach based on three key metrics gives Seattle the nod over San Francisco. But not everybody has noticed why the numbers shake out the way they do.

While Seattle and SF are virtually the same city when it comes to the percentage of households with same-sex partners and “LGBT-friendly laws and opportunities,” Seattle’s per capita rate of reported “sexual orientation-related hate crimes” is much, much lower than San Francisco’s.

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Recent anti-gay violence could be a sign of change, however. The Seattle Times adds an asterisk to the rankings, reporting the much-cited study used old data for its list. Using updated numbers from the FBI, the Times says, shows the per 100,000 citizen rate jumped to 3.0 for Seattle in 2012. Unofficially, the Times says the city posted a similar number in 2013. Meanwhile, police haven’t ruled out a possible hate crime motive in last week’s murder of two men in the Central District.

Will Capitol Hill be the fastest growing neighborhood in the fastest growing U.S. city?

There’s no saying — yet — if Capitol Hill is the fastest growing neighborhood in the fastest growing U.S. city. But we know the latter half of that equation is true.

Seattle Times data guy (and sometimes neighborhood DJ) Gene Balk has alerted the city to the latest population estimates from the Census Bureau. Among the nation’s top 50 most populous cities, estimates say Seattle grew the fastest in 2013 — clocking in with a 2.8% jump vs. 2012.

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You’ll also note we turned in a nearly 7 point jump vs. 2010.

In the top 100 biggest cities, Seattle weighed in just ahead of… well, a bunch of places you probably wouldn’t want to live. Sorry, Henderson City.

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You can view the Census Bureau’s report on the update here. We’ll have to ask DJ Gene when we’ll have an idea on how fast Capitol Hill is growing. If not this year, maybe next. There’s certainly going to be room for growth.

Stats show major drop in policing activity by Seattle cops

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 3.47.11 PMCitations for violations of the law in Seattle have dropped dramatically from 2004-2013 and officers are doing considerably less proactive policing, according to a report recently released by the Seattle Police Department in a briefing to the new Community Police Commission.

While many are saying the datasets require more study and discussion, the numbers reveal a major shift in policing results in the city and major signs of inequity in how Seattle Police now respond to simple crimes like consuming alcohol in public, smoking violations or traffic crimes. In Seattle Municipal Court, filings for non-traffic violations (theft, assault, trespass, etc.) have dropped 49%. The report also shows blacks are disproportionately cited for nearly all of the top minor infractions in the city. Continue reading

Capitol Hill 2013 crime totals — just as likely to get beat up, more likely to get robbed, burgled

The 10th/Pine scene of Capitol Hill's lone recorded 2013 homicide -- There were no charges in an incident said to have been an accidental shooting (Image: CHS)

The 10th/Pine scene of Capitol Hill’s lone recorded 2013 homicide — There were no charges in an incident said to have been an accidental shooting (Image: CHS)

A CHS analysis of the first seven months of reported crimes on Capitol Hill will fuel the debate over public safety in Seattle — and leave you scratching your head at the oddest of coincidences.

In the first seven months of 2013, the overall total for crimes in five main categories — assaults, robberies, burglaries, thefts, vehicle thefts — in the four East Precinct beats that cover most of Capitol Hill, are *exactly* the same as the tally recorded through July in 2012 — a flat-footed tie, 1,797 to 1,797.Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 5.53.17 AM

It’s the kind of big numbers thing that will leave an editor poring through the spreadsheet to find a mistaken copy and paste or a broken formula. Our count stands.

It’s the mix of tallied crimes and the way the trends have played out through the year that will likely fuel the political debate. The trends we identified in our 2013 first quarter crime analysis strengthened into the summer — by August, Mayor Mike McGinn was throwing cash and a few creative solutions like leaving the lights on at Cal Anderson at the problem. Continue reading