There was so little bad news at last night’s East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition that one participant joked that the format may have to be changed and everyone will have to bring good community building stories just to fill the time.
The the discussion circled around the room, person after person noted how few issues there were in their area:
- Seattle U – Seen some problems with graffiti around the perimeter of the school, but not much else
- Leschi – “very quiet on all of the blockwatches”, and the area around 28th & 29th is much improved after some problem tenants were removed
- Squire Park – Some disturbing graffiti around Swedish, but overall “much quieter.” A slight uptick in drug activity at 21st & Union, with 2-3 incidents seen in the last month
- 27th & Spring – Activity at one problem house has been low for a while, but may be picking up again. One problem resident who was gone for a while is now back
- 24th & Spring – Some new problems with panhandlers around Key Bank, but nothing else
- 24th & Olive – Issues with illegal dumping in an alley there, and one neighborhood resident was seen doing a drug deal there too.
- 23rd & Union – One resident says it’s been “unusually quiet” around the post office, but there were 2nd-hand reports that other residents have seen an uptick in issues there. SPD also said that they’re aware of increased problems and increasing patrols in the area.
East Precinct Captain Dermody said the official stats show a clear decrease in crime too:
- Part 1 crimes (felonies, the most serious) are down 36% between 2005 and the end of 2009
- Residential burglaries are down to 31 in the last month, compared to an average of 53
- Non-residential burglaries are down to 8, vs. an average of 21 each month
- Auto thefts are down from a recent high two months ago
- A prolific car prowler has been arrested, and SPD is hoping to see a big decrease in those crimes as a result
- The gang unit made an arrest near 23rd & Union on Wednesday. Suspect was on parole, and found to be carrying drugs. He’s now in jail without bail while detectives build a case.
We also got a detailed presentation from the leaders of SPD’s Special Assault Unit, which handles sexual assaults and monitors sex offenders in the city. Four of their eleven detectives are assigned to keep a constant tab on the whereabouts of registered sex offenders, making sure that their registrations are up to date and arresting them if they fail to comply with the state’s strict notification laws.
There’s 1,100 sex offenders in the city of Seattle, and 223 currently live in the East Precinct. Of those in the east, 36 are designated Level 3, which are considered the most likely to reoffend.
SPD has ceased using mail to notify residents of sex offenders who move into neighborhoods, and now suggest everyone use King County’s Offender Watch website, where you can search in your own area and set up email notifications to get notified when they move around.