Recently, the FBI released its annual crime report, this one for the year 2022, and it shows while national violent crime has dropped, WA state's crime rate rising.

National violent crime drops

The study listed at least 11 million offenses in 2022, and while the national rate dropped 1.7 percent from 2021, in WA state it rose noticeably.

WA state's violent crime rate went up by 1.06 percent, including rapid rises in murders.

The FBI report compiles data from at least 231 law enforcement agencies, and some of the findings are alarming. This data, along with the annual report issued by the Washington Association of Sheriff's and Police Chiefs, shows sharp increases.

Some of the violent crime numbers including murder rose 16.6 percent with 394 in the state last year, which is the highest total since the Sheriff's and Police Chiefs began compiling data in 1980.   Homicides have gone up by 96 percent since 2019.

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Violent crimes, which include assault and rape, have gone up 8.9 percent, and property crimes against people and homes, and businesses are up. In addition, vehicle thefts went up 34 percent in 2022 over 2021.  Auto thefts are considered property crimes, and the 2021 WA state legislature passed laws prohibiting police pursuits concerning property crimes.  Some rollback has occurred, but car thefts are still spiking.

The data also showed WA has the lowest percentage of law enforcement officers per capita in the US.  The FBI data also shows 2,375 reported attacks or assaults on offices in WA state, an increase of nearly 21 percent.

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Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff

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