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Seattle Police Department Kathleen O'Toole, Chief of Police


The Seattle Police Department cautions against using crime and/or other police data to make decisions/comparisons regarding the safety of an area or the amount of crime.

Crime statistics represent only police services where a report was made and do not include other calls for police service.

The data do not reflect or certify "safe" or "unsafe" areas. When looking at crime statistics it is important to consider geography (business vs. residential), and major institutions that exist within the boundaries (i.e. hospitals, schools, parks, etc.) of the reporting areas.

Data will sometimes reflect where the crime was reported versus where the crime occurred.

Areas with a high volume of foot traffic or that are more densely populated may have more reported crime. This does not necessarily mean more crime occurs there, but that more crime is reported there.

Crime statistics 2008


Major Crimes were down in 2008 by 4% overall when compared with the same time period in 2007 and down 17% when compared with 2006.   Violent Crimes were 6% lower than one year ago and Property Crimes were down 3%.  Notable decreases were found in vehicle thefts, down 36% and aggravated assaults, down 17%. 

Among Violent Crimes, year-to-year increases were posted in homicides, rapes and robberies compared to 2007. Among Property Crimes, there were year-to-year increases in burglaries and larcenies compared to 2007. The burglary increase was primarily in business break-ins.

For the 2 year period, 2006-2008, all Violent, Property and Major Crimes showed a double digit downward trend, but most of the decrease was experienced in 2007.


The table below depicts reported Major Crimes by month in 2008 and compares the year-to-date totals with the same period in 2007. 

Citywide Major Crimes Trends ( PDF PDF Document )

Citywide Major Crimes Trends ( XLS Excel )


The overall crime decrease in 2008 was not experienced uniformly across the city.  Three precincts – North, East and Southwest – registered crime decreases; while two precincts – South and West – showed increases in Major Crimes. 

Understanding the true level of crime changes in each precinct in 2008, however, is complicated by boundary changes among four of them.  As geography formerly in one precinct shifted to another one, the crime in that geographic area was then counted in the new precinct.  The two precincts with the most significant changes to beat boundaries were South and West. For more on changes to precinct boundaries and beats, please read more on the Neighborhood Policing Project.

Because South and West Precincts showed a crime trend counter to that for the city as a whole, both precincts began deploying officers and devoting resources to hot spot enforcement and tracking these efforts.  In West Precinct, efforts were focused on entertainment venues and open air drug markets to prevent incidents from occurring or escalating.  In South Precinct, the focus has been on assaults and predatory behaviors committed by, or directed at, young people.  The Precinct has a strong and active role in the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, working in and with the schools, and coordinating efforts with the Gang Unit to anticipate and prevent violent incidents. 


(Links to PDF PDF Document )

(Links to XLS Excel )

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Seattle, WA 98124-4986
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