Yakima Crime Rates Decrease
Crime rates dropped in 2006, and police are attributing this decrease to an increased awareness among Yakima residents.
Capt. Jeff Schneider with the Yakima Police Department says crime is decreasing because people are being more careful about locking their cars and protecting their homes. He says there has been an increased awareness about the high rate of vehicle thefts in the Valley, and believes all the publicity of those crimes is making people secure their property better.
Overall, statistics for 2006 decreased -- especially in murder rates, which are down fifty percent. But Schneider says that statistic may be a little misleading, because murder rates are so infrequent to begin with. In 2006 there was a decrease of six criminal murders -- 11 murders in 2005, five in 2006.
And even though one survey ranks Yakima tenth in the nation for vehicle theft, those rates were down more than five percent last year... Again, Schneider says that's because people are protecting themselves better and watching out for one another.
As for other crime rates: last year aggravated assault decreased ten percent. Forcible rape decreased about seven percent -- from 64 rapes in 2005 down to 49 in 2006.
Robbery increased eight percent, while burglary remained about the same.
Arson rates fell more than 33 percent last year.