Violent crime was down in Tacoma and unincorporated Pierce County in 2011, according to a recent report by the FBI.
The Crime in the United States 2011 report, which collects data from law enforcement agencies across the country, showed property crime was down in Tacoma and rose slightly in the county.
In the city, violent crime – which includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – was down 11.35 percent, falling to 1,507 cases in 2011 from 1,700 cases in 2010.
Property crime – which includes arson, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft – dropped 4.8 percent in Tacoma last year, falling to 12,062 cases in 2011, down from 12,670 in 2010.
Police spokesman Mark Fulghum said the reduction in crime in the city was the result of two major gang sweeps and directed policing that targets specific crimes, places and people.
In unincorporated Pierce County, violent crime was down 19 percent in 2011, dropping to 919 incidents from 1,134 the year before, according to the report. Property crime barely rose, up to 9,585 incidents from 9,533, according to the FBI report.
This year, however, the Sheriff’s Department has seen some increase in violent crime. Deputies have responded to 18 homicides so far in 2012, compared to 10 the year before.
“Our trends are going in a different direction already,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said last week. “Obviously we’ve doubled in homicides.”
Limited law enforcement resources, as well as a lack of mental health resources, influence the county’s crime rates, Troyer said.
“Mental health issues threaten to make the numbers start to go back up,” he said. “They’re not getting the help they need.”
The FBI report’s numbers are slightly different from what the agencies reported to the state earlier this year, because they are converted from a new reporting system to an older one used by other law enforcement organizations. They nevertheless reflect the same trends, officials said.
In Puyallup, violent crime fell 9.4 percent last year, to 106 crimes from 117, the FBI figures show. Its property crime rose 5 percent in 2011, with 2,642 incidents from 2,517 in 2010.
Lakewood’s violent crime was up 2.6 percent, to 506 from 493, according to the report. Property crime was down slightly, to 2,729 incidents from 2,737 in 2010.
For the full Crime in the United States 2011 report, visit bitly.com/Tst00M.Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/crime