Wednesday, January 6, 1999

Violent and
property crimes
fell in Hawaii
in 1998

'We can truly say crime is
down statewide,' with Kauai
leading the way, a
state researcher says

By Rod Ohira


Serious crime in Hawaii decreased 9 percent during the first six months of last year, highlighted by a drop in reported property offenses to their lowest level since 1988, says a new state report.

The state attorney general's semiannual crime summary, released today, showed burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft down in all four counties, with Kauai's 21.9 percent decline leading the way.

The report also noted a 15 percent drop in reported violent crimes between January-June 1998 and the same period in 1997.

"Statewide numbers are often influenced largely by what happens on Oahu and may not reflect crime trends on the neighbor islands," said Paul Perrone, chief of research for the attorney general's office.

"In this case, we can truly say crime is down statewide."


Said Attorney General Margery Bronster: "Crime in Hawaii has been falling steadily since 1996, and these latest statistics are especially encouraging. We will continue to work hard to decrease crime even further."

There were double-digit percentage decreases for reported violent offenses -- including homicide, robbery and aggravated assaults -- except rape.

In Honolulu, there was a 14.8 percent drop in violent crime and 7.3 percent decrease in property offenses.

During the six-month study period, there were 14 homicides, 603 robberies, 681 aggravated assaults and 181 rapes reported on Oahu.

For property offenses, there were 23,098 larceny-thefts reported, a drop of 6 percent from 1997; 5,680 burglaries, a 17.9 percent decrease; and 2,939 motor vehicle thefts, down 10.1 percent.

Property crimes account for 96 percent of all reported index crimes, the report says.

Hawaii County's 138 reported violent crimes were 11.5 percent less than in 1997. Big Island property crime fell 7.4 percent, with 3,353 reported offenses.

Maui had 137 violent offenses, an 18.9 percent drop. There were 3,403 property offenses reported on the Valley Island, 14.8 percent fewer than in 1997.

Kauai, meanwhile, experienced a 7.4 percent increase in violent crime, but Perrone says the figure is based on only two more offenses. The Garden Island's total of 29 reported violent offenses is the lowest in the state.

Property crime, however, dropped 21.9 percent on Kauai, which had 1,148 offenses of which 861 were larceny-thefts.

The report can be viewed at the Crime Prevention & Justice Assistance Division's Web site:

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