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Crime stats bear good news

In a recent column, Shawn Vestal mentioned the FBI crime statistics. These are the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. They can be found by entering FBI Uniform Crime Reports into a Web browser.

The reports contain a lot of good news. They show that the rate of all crime in the United States, including violent crime, has been declining since 1992. The rate of violent crime in 1992 was 757 per 100,000. The rate for 2011 was 386. The homicide rate in 1992 was 9.3 per 100,000. The homicide rate in 2011 was 4.7. In 2011, we were nearing a 50-year low in the crime rate. The crime rate, including the homicide rate, was lower in 2011 than in 2004, when the assault rifle ban expired.

The reports also break down crime rates by states and cities. Washington has crime rates that are much lower than the national average. Illinois has crime rates that are higher than the average, but that’s entirely because of Chicago. The rest of that state is a low crime area.

Patrick Torretta



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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.