Reportshows county-wide decrease in crime

Published on Thu, May 17, 2007 by ack Kintner

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Report shows county-wide decrease in crime

By Jack Kintner

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) released figures last week that showed a significant overall reduction in both violent and property crime in 2006 from that recorded in 2005.

Property crime showed decreases in all categories, led by a 52 percent drop in arson, from 23 in 2005 to 11 in 2006.

Car theft was off 19 percent, down to 162 from 200, larceny down 14 percent from 1083 to 934, and burglary down 10 percent from 702 to 632.

Violent crime was down 13.4 percent overall, led by a 62 percent drop in robberies, from 16 reported in 2005 down to just six in 2006.
Murder also showed a decrease from two incidents in 2005 to none in 2006.

Increases were reported in two categories of violent crime, aggravated assault up two percent from 81 to 83 and rape up over 24 percent from 29 in 2005 to 36 in 2006.

“This is just one method of measuring crime trends for specified offenses,” said Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo, “as there are a number of factors, one of which is the frequency and consistency with which victims report crime.”

When asked about whether the increase in rape is due to more incidents or more of them being reported, Elfo said it depends on a variety of factors.

“When you are dealing with relatively small numbers (29 to 36), any increase is likely to project a significant percentage increase.,” he said. “However, we have worked hard to create an environment where victims are more likely to report rape.

That has been an on-going process for several years and I do not know whether we can attribute the increase to this factor.”

For more information and a more complete run-down on the numbers go to the WASPC website at Click on “press release for 2006 presliminary crime statistics” under the crime statistics menu.