Good news and not-so-good news about crime in Seattle
- Robberies decline while auto thefts, residential burgleries
New crime figures for last year just released by Seattle Police
show robberies continuing to decline. But going up significantly are
auto thefts and residential burglaries.
SEATTLE,WA - Ask around and, for the most part, people in Seattle think they live and work in a relatively safe, big city.
"I would feel safe going anywhere at anytime in Seattle, and I never felt safe at all anywhere at anytime in New York," said Trennon Bird of Ballard.
New Yorkers might worry more about murder. In Seattle it's concerns about getting mugged.
"Robbery probably the most," said Sarah Mitchell, who lives on Capitol Hill. "There's a lot of people that have some issues with substance abuse that are running around all the time."
New crime figures for last year just released by Seattle Police show robberies continuing to decline. But going up significantly are auto thefts and residential burglaries.
More than 9,000 cars were stolen last year, roughly 700 more than in 2002.
"When you only look at one year and compare it either to the year before or even two years ago, it can be somewhat misleading," said Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske.
Kerlikowske said it's important not to focus on one year over another, but to look for patterns of specific crimes. That gives police a better idea of what they need to work on.
"There are two trends in this city," said Kerlikowske. "One is that violent crime continues to decrease. We actually have one of the safest large cities in the country. Property crime on the other hand has continued to increase."
Last year, there were 34 murders in the Emerald City, seven more than in 2002. But in both 1997 and '98, 49 people were killed in Seattle.
Still, many in Seattle say other big cities have much bigger crime problems.
"I actually think my neighborhood is tremendously safe," said Karen Toering of the Columbia City neighborhood. "I think the south end of Seattle has gotten a bad rap, but this is a city of neighborhoods and my neighborhood is a neighborhood just like every other neighborhood in the city."
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