Violent crime in Honolulu increased 6.6 percent last year, according to the FBI's 2001 Uniform Crime Report. Above, officers tended to one of two policemen who were shot after stopping a stolen van on the H-2 freeway, north of the Ka Uka Boulevard offramp, in April last year.

Violent crime up
6.6% in Honolulu

An FBI study shows a 2 percent
overall rise in crime nationally

By Rod Antone

Violent crime in Honolulu increased 6.6 percent last year, according to the FBI's 2001 Uniform Crime Report.

The FBI released preliminary data from the report yesterday showing that overall crime in Honolulu went up 3.8 percent from 2000 to 2001 while property crime rose 3.6 percent.

The bureau study shows there has also been a 2 percent increase in overall crime nationwide from 2000 to 2001.

"Crime appears to be on the rise again after record lows in 1999," said Honolulu Police Chief Lee Donohue, who noted that crime in Honolulu rose 9.3 percent from 1999 to 2000.

"In the last 10 years, crime has fluctuated from a high in 1994 to a low in 1999," Donohue said. "In 2001, crime was about 20 percent lower than in 1994 and 13.5 percent higher than in 1999."

When compared nationally, however, Donohue said Honolulu remains one of the safest of 20 major U.S. cities ranked by the FBI. Honolulu was ranked last of the 20 cities when it came to violent crimes, with 278 crimes per 100,000 residents. Topping the list was Baltimore, with 2,284 incidents of major violent crimes per 100,000 residents.


"Among the violent crimes, Honolulu had the lowest murder rate and aggravated-assault rate," Donohue said. "Honolulu has nearly half the number of violent crimes as the next safest city of Austin, Texas."

Austin was ranked just above Honolulu at 19th among major cities, with 512 incidents per 100,000 residents.


For property crime, Honolulu ranked 12th, just below Jacksonville, Fla., and above Philadelphia.

Donohue said: "Patrol and CID (Criminal Investigation Division) have created task forces that will be pursuing property crime suspects more aggressively and developing ways of preventing these crimes from occurring."

In Honolulu, rapes increased by 22 percent in 2001, to 293 cases from 240 cases the year before. Assault cases increased by 7.8 percent to 1,141 from 1,058, according to the data.

Robbery increased by 1.5 percent while the number of murders, 20 reported cases, remained the same.

Auto theft increased by 7.3 percent last year, with 5,597 reported auto thefts in 2001 compared with 5,214 in 2000. However, that was significantly less than the more than 30 percent increase recorded in the previous year.

Property crimes such as burglaries and theft increased by 5.7 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

The FBI study shows there has been an overall 2 percent increase in crime nationwide over the last two years. FBI officials said that trend does not include offenses from the events of Sept. 11.

The attack on the World Trade Center, however, did affect the murder statistics for New York. The FBI reported 3,479 murders in New York last year, up 417 percent from 673 a year earlier. The death toll from the World Trade Center attack was 2,823, according to The Associated Press.

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