When Bonney Lake police respond to an incident, specific information is recorded and data is used to analyze criminal activity in the area. The National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) revealed a 2.5 percent decrease in 2013 reportable offenses, compared to the year before. The numbers represent a four-year low in the city’s overall crime.
Overall reportable crimes dropped from 1,103 to 1,075, but officer response was required more frequently in some categories than in years past. For instance, vehicle collisions increased by 29.8 percent; 198 were reported in 2012, compared to the 257 reported in 2013. Aggravated assault increased 38.5 percent and motor vehicle theft increased 37.8 percent.
Increased vehicle theft isn’t exclusive to Bonney Lake. Reports indicate a similar trend across western Washington, according to Crime Analyst Laura Miller.
Notable improvements include decreases of 24.8 percent in burglaries, 28.6 percent in forcible sex offenses, 33.3 percent in intimidation, 26.2 percent in fraud, 22.5 percent in drug offenses, 20.2 percent in domestic violence, 100 percent in suicides and 18.8 percent in attempted suicide cases.
New traffic positions created within the department may be responsible for an 86 percent increase in driving under the influence and impaired driver arrests. Only 35 DUI citations in 2012 represented a five-year low and Miller suspects the 2013 numbers dictate a leveling out in that area, she said.
Traffic tickets remained nearly the same from 2012 to 2013, with a 1 percent overall decrease. There was no change in the percent of misdemeanor and felony adult arrests.
Officers are dispatched to the scene of a crime when it is reported, but they also spend a large portion of time patrolling the streets and identifying possible crimes or suspicious activity. Their presence often deters criminals.
The department will continue to participate in various emphasis patrols in order to address areas of concern throughout the year. April’s traffic focus is Street of the Week patrols. The remaining schedule includes Myers Road East from April 17 to 24 and Sky Island Drive from April 25 to 30.