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.

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 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 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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