The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs‘ (WASPC) reported that Homicides and other violent crimes increased in Washington state at a dramatic pace last year.
“The rate of murders, violent, and property crimes rose across the state, while the number of officers available to respond and serve our communities decreased again in 2022. There were 394 murders in 2022, an increase of 16.6% over 2021. This is the highest number of murders recorded since WASPC began collecting this data in 1980. Homicides have increased by 96% since 2019. Crimes against persons, property, and society all increased in 2022, and violent crimes showed an increase of 8.9%.” ~WASPC 2022 Crime Report
The report analyzed 2022’s crime data across the state. It was compiled with data from 231 state, county, municipal, and tribal agencies within Washington.
WHAT DOES THE OTHER DATA REVEAL?
Other significant trends the report disclosed were motor vehicle theft rising by 34%. Also, nearly 46% of all crimes against persons were defined as domestic violence. Moreover, 544 hate crimes were reported last year. Finally, the state logged 719 fewer arrests for drug or narcotic violations.
This data follows a pattern the state saw last year with increases in violent crime. According to WASPC’s report, violent crime increased by 12.3% from 2020 to 2021. There were 325 murders recorded in 2021, an increase of 5.9% over 2020. The year 2021 had the highest number of murders recorded before 2022 broke its record.
ENROLLMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS DECREASED.
“The total number of commissioned officers statewide was 10,666, down from 10,736 in 2021, while the total population of the state increased by 93,262,” the report continued. “Washington again is ranked 51st out of the 50 states and District of Columbia for the number of officers per thousand residents. Reported cases of officers assaulted were 2,375 in 2022, an increase of 20.7%.”
The report said the reduced law enforcement staffing means less ability to provide justice for victims, fewer people to de-escalate, less behavioral health assistance and many agencies “treading water.”
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.