WA State Crime Report: Violent Crimes Down, Hate Crimes & Vehicle Thefts Up

2023 Washington Annual Crime Report

Photo courtesy of WASPC

The annual Crime in Washington report detailing specific crime rates throughout the state in 2023 was released.  It found that as overall violent crimes went down, hate crimes and vehicle thefts went up.

The report is based on data that was sent to the Washington State Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) by 225 agencies across the state.

The report said that the rate of murders, violent and property crimes decreased slightly across the state. There were 376 murders in 2023 which was a 5.8% decrease from 2022. But last year’s number is an 87% increase from 2019. Violent crimes decreased about 5.5% and property crime also decreased by about 11.9%.


The report detailed statistics that showed that hate crimes increased by 6%. The highest frequency of hate crimes based on demographics were race, religion, disability, gender/gender identity, and sexual orientation.

  • Race: Anti-Black/African American
  • Religion: Anti-Jewish
  • Disability: Anti-Mental Disability
  • Gender/Gender Identity: Anti-Transgender
  • Sexual Orientation: Anti-LGBTQ

“These are severe assaults. And we had 79 of those last year related to hate crime in the state of Washington. And that should be a number that should be very concerning to us and should point to the fact that we have to do even more to combat hate crime.” ~Steve Strachan, Executive director of WASPC.


Since 2019, the state has seen a 112% increase in vehicle thefts. Based on the report vehicle thefts increased by 5.4% over the last year. More than 20% of people who were arrested for vehicle theft were juveniles, which is a 24% increase from 2022.

“This is one that is not going down. We’ve seen substantial increases since 2019, and it went up again this year. A lot of issues related this. We’ve talked about the last few years— changes in use of force standards, changes in police staffing, changes in pursuit restrictions . . . Most of the vehicles that are stolen in our state are older vehicles. They’re vehicles belonging to people who can least afford being a victim of crime in terms of vehicle theft. And it can turn their life upside down. So, this is a really concerning number for all of us.” ~Steve Strachan, Executive director of WASPC.


The report also looked at the staffing numbers of officers across the state. The number of commissioned officers went up by 94 which brought the total to 10,760. The report said that Washington ranked 51st out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for the number of officers per thousand residents.

Please contact my office if you, a friend or family member are charged with a crime. Hiring an effective and competent defense attorney is the first and best step toward justice.