FBI Statistics Show Increased Crime in Kirkland, Possibly Due to Annexation

Crime statistics released by the FBI this week show increases in Kirkland in seven of 10 categories, to some extent likely because of the increased size of the city after annexation in mid-2011.


Unsurprisingly, statistics just released by the FBI show a marked increase in Kirkland crime from 2010 to 2011. The culprit? Most likely, annexation.

Midway through 2011, the city added some 31,000 people to its population, now about 81,000, with the annexation of three northern neighborhoods that had previously been patrolled by the King County Sheriff's Office.

The FBI statistics released Monday include 10 categories, and in Kirkland they show increases from 2010 to 2011 in seven, with two categories decreasing and one at the same level.

Violent crime overall jumped from 62 cases in 2010 to 74 in 2012. Robbery cases actually declined from 23 in 2010 to 15 in 2011, and reported motor vehicle thefts dropped from 101 to 97. Arson cases remained the same, five cases in each of the two years.

There were no murders in Kirkland during 2010, but one in 2011. That would be the stabbing death of 19-year-old Scarlett Paxton on Nov. 30 in the annexation neighborhood of north Juanita; a former soldier and Kirkland resident remains in jail facing a charge of first-degree murder in the case.

Aggravated assault cases increased from 28 to 38 from 2010 to 2011, and other increases were noted in overall property crimes (1,361/1,472), burglary (207/253), larceny theft (1,053/1,133), and most notably, forcible rape, jumping from 11 to 20.

“Probably the thing that is most discouraging is forcible rape going up that amount,” said Kirkland Police Department spokesman Lt. Mike Murray. He noted, however, that the increase to some extent could be a reflection of increased reporting due to an increased focus by police on the reporting of domestic violence.

“Our family violence unit has been more active to try to get more people to report when something happens in domestic situations,” he said, a response to concerns that partners often are afraid to report crimes in situations of spousal abuse.

Murray noted that the crime of burglary remains a concern and area of focus by the Kirkland Police Department.

“Burglaries are one of the issues our patrol officers and neighborhood resource officers have been working hardest on,” he said. “We're telling people, 'Don’t hesitate to call if you see something that could be a burglary.' When people call is when we catch these guys, as we know from recent cases.”

Burglary suspects were captured by Kirkland police after calls by citizens in cases on Rose Hill earlier this month and the Bridle Trails area in February.

For the full FBI crime statistics for 2011, click here, and for 2010, click here. Note that while the 2011 report did not list Kirkland's increased population due to annexation, the figures do include crimes that occurred in 2011 in the new neighborhoods after annexation, since they are based on Kirkland Police Department reporting.

Chuck Pilcher November 01, 2012 at 03:39 AM
This headline is misleading sensationalism. With the exception of forcible rape, not one of these crimes increased as much (percentage-wise) as the population of Kirkland. (And we haven't been told what percent of the forcible rape cases were in the Annexation area.) The story shows that Kirkland made a great choice when a we added a bunch of law-abiding citizens to reduce the workload of the police. Or maybe that the annexation area now has better policing than the "old" Kirkland.
Greg Johnston (Editor) November 01, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Chuck, how do you figure the headline is misleading No. 1, and sensationalism No. 2? It pretty much states the facts as they are. Crime did increase in Kirkland, and so did the population. That's exactly what the headline says. Please explain that comment.
Aaron Hunter November 01, 2012 at 04:44 AM
You want the truth? We deserve the truth and Obama offers it here in person. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vqrJPGmBBMA Mitt Romney is not our Commander In Chief! Obama Is! What else do we need to know about Obama before we elect him for a second rule? . . . . . . . . We have DEAD Boarder Patrol Agents, A Dead Ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi and Obama has NOT ONE ANSWER in fact he is blocking information.
K.M. May November 02, 2012 at 05:30 AM
You betcha Chuck. Kirkland PD does a MUCH better job of patrolling that King County Sheriff's Office EVER did. Are you kidding me? Unless the KC cops were actually dispatched to an address for a case report in that area that was annexed, the only reason you'd even see a Deputy was because they wanted to (1) Eat in or near the area, (2) Drove on 100th Ave NE or NE 145th to NE 160th, or other main roads just to be able to make it to I-405 more quickly! Ha, I have friends who live in the large residential area by the 7-11 down NE 160th towards 100th Ave NE, etc and they LOVED being able to get away with noisy parties, bad driving or racing around their neighborhoods, etc because they knew that the King county cops were always too busy to patrol in their area, (or too lazy) and then when they found out the the City of Kirkland cops were going to be taking over....... well lets' just say that they sort of felt that "The party's over" and they had to be much more concerned and law abiding, better citizens if you will.
Kirkland Tony November 02, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Greg, are you being intentionally obtuse and complicit with the sensationalism? I can't see how you fail to acknowledge this. Suppose we note (correctly) that every box of Captain Crunch is delivered 15% empty or so ("to allow room for settling", they say.) And the jail pays for 200 boxes in 2011. And then for 300 boxes in 2012 due to expansion. While empty space moves to 16% on average because the larger facility means more movement means more settling. We had 1% more empty space by box. But the headline would claim "paid for empty space increases 60%" rather than "empty space ratio up 1%" Accurate, but not informative. Pure sensationalism and misleading. And exactly what the headline did.
Greg Johnston (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Tony, the numbers reflect the larger population only for the second part of 2012, since annexation took effect in June. If you remember that when you crunch the numbers, it will change your calculations. There was never any intention to be sensational or misleading in the head, and it isn't.
Daniel S. November 12, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Hey Greg, I can relate to the comment about the headline being misleading as well. The first Focus is on Increase in Crime and starting out with the FBI immediately gets your attention. How often does a person associate something that begins with FBI as good news? A more accurate headline might have read: Increase in Kirkland Crime Stats possibly due to recent Annexations or Recent Annexations in Kirkland possible cause for FBI Crime Stat Increases.
Greg Johnston (Editor) November 12, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Hey Daniel, I think that's pretty much what the headline did say. Your version is only slightly more nuanced. But I appreciate the input!
Kirkland Tony November 12, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Greg, I'm curious... have you done the math? Did Kirkland's crime RATE go up?
Greg Johnston (Editor) November 12, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Tony, I've already replied to you, see above.
Nancy Cunningham November 12, 2012 at 11:49 PM
If you're going to report on the crime rate, why not post the statistics so people can verify your information. Rates are determined by the number of crimes per 1,000 people, which could explain how annexation might affect the crime rate. Don’t confuse crime rates with the crime INDEX, or you’ll really be confused.
Nancy Cunningham November 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM
I remember Kirkland as having the highest crime rate on the east side. But it's important to review the number of commercial businesses, taverns, transient traffic, shoppers from other areas etc. when calculating crime rates. The crime rate numbers do not tell the whole story. Also important is the amount of money the city spends on public safety, the number of officers per capita, income and demographics for the city. The story about a possible crime rate increase provided more questions than answers.
Greg Johnston (Editor) November 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Nancy, the statistics for Kirkland are reported in the story and there are hyperlinks in the story to all the statistics for both years as well. See the last paragraph. There is also a hyperlink to the overall national FBI report (third paragraph). With these you can verify everything.


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