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FBI report: Seattle, Tacoma saw spike in murder, robbery in 2012

Alan Cleaver

Violent crime has gone up in our region, according to the latest statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the FBI's Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report for 2012, Seattle and Tacoma saw more murders, robberies and aggravated assaults in 2012 than in 2011. Some other Washington cities, including Bellevue, also saw more crime. In Seattle, reported violent crime went from 3,664 in 2011 to 3,707 in 2012. Tacoma, which did see a decline in forcible rape, nevertheless had an increase in violent crime from 1,511 to 1,617.

Nationally, the FBI report shows a shift from previous years, when the trend was one of declining crime rates.  Overall, the West experienced the largest increase, a 3.3 percent increase, in reported violent crime in 2012, while the Northeast was the only area of the country that saw a decrease in crime.

In most Washington cities, in addition to violent crime being up, property crime also rose.

In Tacoma, property crime, which includes burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft went from 12,113 reports in 2011 to 12,889 in 2012.  Seattle logged 31,872 property crimes in 2012, up from 31,792 in 2011. The good news for Seattle was that burglary calls declined while Tacoma saw a decrease in motor vehicle theft.

While there has been an uptick in violent and property crime, the rates are still at historic lows. For example, in Seattle there were 7,500 more property crimes and nearly 450 more violent crimes reported in 2006 than in 2012. 

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.