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Statewide crime report for 2002 released on the Internet

SNOQUALMIE VALLEY - According to the latest crime report regarding statewide statistics, overall arrests are down while recovered stolen property was on the rise.

The Crime in Washington State 2002 annual report, released online earlier this month, is the 24th produced by the Washington Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

Although 2003 statewide numbers won't be available for a while, North Bend crime rate reports for 2002 and 2003 show a continued drop in assault and larceny, and an increase in burglary.

According to the 2002 annual state report:

* Index crimes in Washington totaled 305,907 for 2002, constituting 51.2 offenses per 1,000 of the population. The total represents an increase of .02 percent in the number of index crimes over those reported in 2001.

* Property valued at $326,929,941 was reported stolen in 2002. Of this amount, $134,271,298 (37 percent) was recovered. Property stolen shows a decrease of 1.5 percent from 2001.

* There was one law enforcement officer killed feloniously in 2002. A total of 1,144 law enforcement officers were assaulted during the year. Assaults on officers shows a decrease of 2.5 percent from the 1,173 officer assaults reported in 2001.

* A total of 245,231 arrests were made in 2002, constituting a decrease of 5.5 percent from the year 2001.

* There were 24,231 reported drug abuse arrests - 13 percent were persons under 18.

A total of 35,193 arrests were made for DUI, which constitute 14.3 percent of the total arrests reported in 2002 - 34,644 were adults and 549 juveniles.

In 2002, the King County Sheriff's Office North Bend Substation reported that crimes including robbery, arson, burglary, homicide and assault were down by two percent from 2001.

In the third quarter of 2003, North Bend deputies reported that aggravated assault, commercial burglary, larceny ($250 value or less) and robbery were all down from the same time period of 2002. Third quarter results show that the biggest jump in crimes was a 650-percent increase in residential burglary, which showed 15 such crimes in 2003 compared to two in the same quarter as 2002.

North Bend Police Chief Sgt. Joe Hodgson of the King County Sheriff's Office North Bend Substation said while the number of crimes is "unacceptable" and deputies are working to reduce the problem, such statistics can be misleading. As with any statistical report dealing with relatively small numbers, any increase can push a percentage up considerably, he said. In the case of the burglaries, the 650 percent figure was magnified by an "unusually low" occurrence of burglary crimes during the same quarter of the previous year, Hodgson said.

Currently, the biggest problem for the department is vandalism, Hodgson said. The events appear to be random, happening at night, he said.

To view the report visit www. waspc.org.

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