November 6

The problem(s) with tracking crime in Maple Leaf



We’re still on the crime hunt, spurred on by Simon (“is the burglary and vehicle-related crime rate trending up or down in Maple Leaf”) and Charles (“I’d prefer to follow the statistics”).

We’re having a hell of a time following the statistics, though the answer appears to be “trending up a little bit. Right now.”

It doesn’t help that the Seattle Police Department changed the way they collect and report this information. “We changed to an entirely new system of report writing and data collection a couple of years ago,” said Diane Horswill, a police crime prevention coordinator for the North Precinct.

A bigger problem is that Maple Leaf takes up chunks, but not all, of three different patrol beats in the North Precinct: Nora 3, Union 1 and Lincoln 2 (see map to right, or click here for an overall pdf).

The beat that has the largest piece of Maple Leaf is Union 1. There, the statistics for all property crime – burglaries, stolen cars, theft and such, are currently up, but were down a few months ago. Here’s what the city’s chart looks like for the last three years:

Find that hard to read? No kidding. Try holding down “control” on your keyboard while repeatedly hitting the “plus” key to enlarge it. If you want to try the city’s crime statistics map yourself, go here.

Anyway, it says that this August there were about 80 property crimes reported in Union 1, more than that month in 2009 or 2008. But a month earlier, in July, there were just over 40, fewer than in the previous two years.

Want to know how that compares to the city at large? Here’s that graphic:

About the author 

Sara W

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  1. Thanks for starting to unpack the stats. I myself have tried in the past, but the city makes it opaque for Maple Leaf, doesn’t it. (I wonder if that’s intentional…)

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