Decline in nonviolent crime reflects Honolulu’s prosperity
PROPERTY crimes in Honolulu continued to decline last year
Property crimes decreased in Honolulu last year but violent crimes increased.
, according to the latest FBI statistics showing the city to be among the safest in all kinds of crime. The state's healthy economy is the logical explanation for the fall of property crimes in the past four years, but it also might reflect success in the state's war against crystal methamphetamine.
The number of burglaries, thefts and automobile thefts reached its peak at more than 54,670 on Oahu in 2002. The following year they fell by 11 percent to 48,306 and numbered 38,221 last year, according to the FBI. Violent crimes hovered around 2,600 during those years, reaching a high of 2,722 last year, up 5.9 percent from 2005.
The 1.9 percent rise in violent crime nationally, followed by a 2.3 increase 2005, should prompt reconsideration of cuts in federal assistance to local law-enforcement agencies in recent years. Legislation to restore that aid is needed to prevent the spike in violent crime from becoming a lasting trend.
Hawaii's reduction in serious offenses overall in 2002 reversed three years of increased crime. While crystal meth remains a serious problem, U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo might be correct in concluding that a reduction in use of the drug might have deterred potential users from committing thefts to support their habit.
Unfortunately, Hawaii's rate of 4,230 property crimes per 100,000 people last year, while down from 2005, was the fifth highest in the nation; the national property crime rate was 3,334 per 100,000. The state's violent crime rate was the 16th lowest.
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