Friday, April 01, 2011

Seattle's Meanest Streets (Updated!)


By Nicholas Stix
Revised and updated at 6:55 p.m., on Sunday, April 3, 2011.

My man in Seattle, BR, writes:

This may interest you—half of Seattle crime takes place on 4.5% of streets. Of course there is no data on racial makeup of neighborhoods or
criminals. The map in the study is too low resolution to show much, but
it does look like a line of the hotspots roughly follows the black area
east of downtown. Why almost nothing has been done about known hangouts
for drug dealers (article mentions crackdown at one drug hotspot) I
don't know—there is a park in Belltown just north of downtown where it
is common knowledge that drug dealers ply their trade. It would seem a
simple matter to photograph them with a telephoto lens and arrest them,
but nothing is done. The same Belltown area is the site of trendy
restaurants and frequent crime. Why anyone still goes there is beyond
me. The last thing I want is to take my wife to an expensive restaurant
and then wonder if we will get home without being mugged or murdered.

Note to folks unfamiliar with Seattle: I’m no expert on the city, and have never been within 1,000 miles of it, yet I know the name “Belltown” as the site of a continuous stream of vicious crimes.

Although I have not previously mentioned BR, he has been feeding me material on Seattle for years, and it was he who alerted me to the murder of Edward “Tuba Man” McMichael, which was one of the three crimes I featured in my April, 2009, American Renaissance investigative report, “Three Race Murders in Seattle.”

A few streets responsible for half of Seattle's crime (KOMO)

Based on 14 years worth of data that shows half of Seattle's crimes take place on 4.5 percent of its streets, the Office of the City Auditor released a study March 29 recommending the Seattle Police Department focus its energy on a handful of high-crime areas.

The report, "Addressing Crime and Disorder in Seattle's 'Hot Spots': What Works?," was spurred when Seattle City Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Tom Rasmussen asked the Office of the City Auditor to look into how the city was dealing with graffiti and litter.

That process led to research that suggested efforts to focus on high-crime city blocks, or hot spots, can be effective in reducing crime and disorder, according to the Office of the City Auditor. Furthermore, the report finds, counter to what some may think, displacing crime and disorder in one area does not move it to an adjacent area.

The March 29 report references three studies of crime in Seattle that bolster its hot spot theory.

A 2004 study of data from the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Public Utilities showed 50 percent of Seattle's crime was perpetrated in 4.5 percent of its "street segments." In other words, 1,500 street segment, out of 30,000 in the city, were responsible for half the crime. And, crime in those hot spots remained stable for 14 years.

A 2009 study of juvenile crimes showed that 86 (0.29 percent) of Seattle's 30,000 street segments were responsible for one-third of juvenile crime over a 14-year period.

Finally, a study in 2010 showed that violent crimes, physical disorder (such as graffiti and litter) and social disorder (such as public drunkenness) concentrate at hot spots. About 12 percent of census blocks accounted for almost half of Seattle's social disorder and graffiti and other physical disorders were strongly correlated to the presence of violent crimes, according to the study.

"These 'powerful few' hot spots are responsible for many of the disorder problems in Seattle," according to the Office of the City Auditor's report.

The report concludes that it would be more efficient and effective for SPD to focus on the 1,500 hot spots responsible for half the city's crime than to attempt to focus on the equivalent 6,108 offenders responsible for the same amount of crime each year.

Hot spot approaches to policing have been successful in Minneapolis, Kansas City, Jersey City, Oakland and elsewhere, according to the Office of the City Auditor….

[A few streets responsible for half of Seattle's crime by Michael Harthorne,, March 29, 2011.]

Cover of the farewell edition of the Seattle PI, March 17, 2009.

I originally read this article at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has since killed the link. It is just such unerring judgment about which news readers should be protected from, which caused the failure of the paper version of the PI.

“Hot Spots” policing is clearly a euphemism for the current version of the theory of “broken windows,” aka “order maintenance” policing, which was originally formulated by criminologists George L. Kelling, Catherine Coles, and James Q. Wilson, though in a somewhat different form.

“Broken windows” policing theory argues that low-level disorder—vandalism, graffiti, public drunkenness, public urination, panhandling, prostitution, fare-beating—that are neglected by the authorities show indifference, and thus invite more of the same, as well as higher levels of violent crime. Conversely, the theory argues that attention to non-violent quality-of-life violations will also bring down violent crime.

It’s a nice-sounding theory, and it would be interesting to try it out some day, but “broken windows” has remained a matter of rhetoric, for the same reason that the problem it was meant to solve existed in the first place: A large proportion of blacks and Hispanics have contempt for the law, and for the persons and property of others, especially of whites.

“Hot spots” has allegedly been implemented in New York City and elsewhere since 1994, via “COMPSTAT” (aka “COMSTAT”), computer statistics which inform police brass where the most crime is concentrated and when, so that officers may be deployed accordingly.

As I have repeatedly shown(here, here, here and here), broken windows policing failed in New York and elsewhere, because black and Hispanic criminals, who together have a virtual monopoly on urban crime in America, do not care to be molested by the police, and powerful lobbies feel likewise: Black and Hispanic community leaders; the media; educators; and white socialists, communists, and anarchists. (Pro-criminal anarchists have long been particularly aggressive in Seattle.) Urban police have meanwhile for generations been ordered to steer clear, whenever possible, of confrontations with blacks and Hispanics.

(See my reports, “De-Policing in America’s Cities: Erasing the ‘Thin Blue Line’” “The War on the Police,” and “Disappearing Urban Crime.”)

Some responses by readers of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer article [all of which have since been "disappeared"] follow.

Posted by Torked at 3/30/2011 6:32 a.m.
Typical libtard idea,, " A few streets responsible for half of Seattle's crime.."

Dang criminal streets anyway, solution is simple just ban those streets!

Perhaps,,its just the people (cockroaches) that inhabit those area's that are the real problem..???

Crime may be more prevalent in an area,, but people are the criminals.

Pretty simple,, if the People don't like crime don't put up with it. Take video, (something everyone loves to do apparently), take a picture(s) on your cell
phone,call in illegal activities, Watch what happens in YOUR neighborhood.

It doesn't take much money, even the cheapest cell phones can take pictures,, it is not about money or location.

What this is really about is people who willingly refuse to do anything to reduce crime in their own neighborhoods. Instead,, they are willing to give up their rights and stupidly expect that Law Enforcement's legal responsibility is to protect them.

Crime will happen anywhere people are too lazy (and/or scared) to do anything to protect themselves, and the disconect is the people can not see that by being proactive in protecting their neighborhood they are protecting themselves.

But,, please do keep blaming the streets,, the criminals love idiots who refuse to do anything else!



Posted by SterlingWitherspoon at 3/30/2011 6:46 a.m.
"A few streets" aren't responsible for crime, people on those streets are. Most of those people's names are well known to the police, but any attempt at a crackdown will be met with cries of police harassment and brutality from these criminals, their defense attorneys and Seattle's large contingent of drug using, police hating antiestablishment types.

According to liberal conventional wisdom these days crime levels are equal in black and white neighborhoods. It's just that the racist police dept. is profiling and arresting more blacks and whites are free to go on with their crime sprees unharassed by the "pigs". Just ask ex-Judge Sanders and the Seattle Times.

So by that logic white neighborhoods should be more dangerous since fewer of their local criminals are behind bars.

I'll take my chances and avoid black areas anyway, that policy seems to have served me well over the years ... not racism, just self preservation.

Posted by Testerman at 3/30/2011 9:05 a.m.
MLK: Non-violence
MLK Blvd: Violence


Posted by spaceagepolymer at 3/30/2011 9:25 a.m.
The stupidity of the "conservatives" who post on this board never ceases to amuse me. Misspellings, completely incoherent thoughts, back-arse grammar, racist rants...all the while they attempt to persuade readers that they somehow have the answer. Very persuasive.


Posted by Feez at 3/30/2011 9:42 a.m.
well said spaceagepolymer


Posted by Symptomatic at 3/30/2011 10:23 a.m.
But Mayor McSchwinn and the hapless City Council continue to second guess SPD officer actions, rather than providing oversight, leadership, and direction.
Prioritizing enforcement is a primary leadership role of the Mayor in collaboration with the Chief O' Police. But my guess is they've never even strategized about it. But they certainly have talked endlessly about the killing of a woodcarver and kicking of gang members...

The SPD is a ship without a rudder.


Posted by steve-0 at 3/30/2011 10:23 a.m.
this stinks of community policing, There is no way the police in seattle are gonna get out of their cars and interact with the community unless they get to draw their guns while they do it.


Posted by SeattleUte at 3/30/2011 10:24 a.m.
The stupidity of the "liberals" who post on this board never ceases (sic) to amaze me. Leaving rants about how holy-than-thou they are compared to "conservatives" without bothering to address the topic at hand.


Posted by pessimist at 3/30/2011 10:42 a.m.
ah....just for the record... a majority of the graffiti seems to be done by white kids, who tag, then take off on their skateboards. Some are self-styled 'anarchists', spreading the message on construction sites, etc empty store fronts.
(not all skateboarders are 'taggers', but some are)
That has been what I have gathered from news sources. who write about this problem.
The kids from Eugene who came up for WTO and raised hell 10 years ago were white. Same for the local breed of vandals and J.D.'s .

Posted by wuwei at 3/30/2011 3:54 p.m.
What's to stop the troublemakers from moving their activities a few blocks over when the perceive that things are getting hot? It's not about the streets, but the people that hang out there. The police have a pretty good idea who the problem individuals are and could take a more proactive role in crime prevention with the participation of the public. If this means profiling, so be it.

Posted by Burton Oerney at 3/30/2011 5:01 p.m.
" "A few streets" aren't responsible for crime, people on those streets are."

" Ackowledge your inherent white guilt and lament the plight of these poor misguided souls, who are only the way they are because of evil white people, mostly Christian conservatives."
OK. So I'm trying to understand the reasoning here. Since 23rd and Union was mentioned in the article, the commenters above must be saying that since that is a black neighborhood, black people must be responsible for the crime. Since the crime mentioned was 'open-air drug dealing', I wonder if people who live on other streets, perhaps even guilty caucasians, go to 23rd and Union to get drugs. Is that possible? I remember Broadway being a pretty hot spot for heroin a few years ago but it isn't now. Did it get whiter? Maybe what's happening is people who buy and sell drugs go where the police are not! Maybe the color of people and value of property in a neighborhood has as much to do with whether police often drive through as the criminal tendency of residents has to do with the crime rate in a neighborhood. Could these things be linked? Just spitballin' here.

Posted by The Truncheon at 3/30/2011 10:58 p.m.
More "thugs" hangin' high, more "gangs" sayin' bye.

Posted by roseviolet at 3/31/2011 12:48 a.m.
The thing that gets me even more than a few "hot spots" being responsible for the vast majority of the crime in Seattle, is that the models for stopping the problem that were studied all said the same thing: enforce all laws all the time. Little laws, big laws, even nuisance laws - ALL OF THEM. Basically, make it a bigger pain in the rear to break the law than to follow it. Duh. Did it really take a study by rocket scientists to figure that out?

Enforce the law, all of it all the time. And don't just do Seattle's usual hot spot temporary emphasis patrols where everybody gets to come watch the cops do their business or at least come see the aftermath. Make SPD and all the other law enforcement and/or code enforcement agencies do their jobs all of the time. Doing your job - if you have one - shouldn't be optional and you shouldn't get to pick and choose which parts of it you do when and where. If you do get to decide whether or not you work, and which parts you'll do when and where; then since in these cases we the people of Seattle are your bosses - we should get to decide what percentage of your job you're doing and how much of your check you deserve as a result. Ignoring hot spots - and clearly, even from the tiny inset map, the Pike/Pine corridor is one of them - means you are NOT DOING YOUR JOB. This means at least part of SPD and other enforcement agencies aren't earning their checks. If they were earning their checks, crime would go DOWN - not stay consistent or go up.

And it's not like it's any secret where to buy crack in Downtown. Seems like everybody but SPD knows.

And at, LockesChild quipped,

The streets have allied with guns to make the areas extremely dangerous. Nobody should be allowed in until we have stopped the streets and the guns from attacking innocent people passing through.


NiviusVir said...

I believe some of our "wicked" stereotyping skills, will determine more precisely where the problem areas are than a demographic study and a GPS combined.

Anonymous said...

Georgia State Legislature seeks dissolution of white-majority towns.

So if you can't even choose to live in a "whitopia" you may need to move to a state with many fewere criminals (Idaho, Mont., Wyo., the Dakotas). Or as the late Sen. Moynihan suggested, "closer to Canada".