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Is Tacoma the most violent city in Wash.? Inside FBI stats

FBI statistics show Tacoma had the highest rate of violent crime of any city in Washington in 2016. (Photo: KOMO News)

TACOMA, Wash. - FBI statistics show Tacoma had the highest rate of violent crime of any city in Washington in 2016.

The city saw 2,000 violent crimes last year. That’s around 9.5 violent crimes per 1,000 people; 56 percent more than Seattle which had 6.1.

Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Tacoma also had 13 criminal homicides compared to Seattle’s 19. Per capita, that’s more than double the rate.

Tacoma Police cited several possible explanations for the high level of violent crime in the city.

Those include the city’s several major medical facilities, large retail base, close proximity to a military base, and social services and charitable organizations.

Tacoma’s violent crime spiked in 2016, up about 18 percent from 2015. But police cannot explain the spike.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says socioeconomics and education levels often factor into crime statistics.

Despite last year’s rise in violent crime, felonies have actually declined around 10 percent over the past decade, according to Lindquist, who prefers to view trends over several years.

“Crime is actually going down in Tacoma,” Lindquist said. “I think it just takes a while to shake off that old reputation.”

The prosecutor’s office runs a data driven program to catch high priority offenders and keep them off the street.

Tacoma Police have also emphasized data analysis as a law enforcement tool, used for predictive policing.


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