In an article last year, I noted that a small percentage of the population, the homeless, were responsible for a disproportionate amount of the crime.
LAPD statistics showed that while the homeless were suspects in 4.3% of all crime in Los Angeles, they were the suspects in 12.6% of aggravated assaults. The footprint of homeless crime was three times as high when it came to aggravated assaults compared to the whole general geography of crime.
The crime rate per population in Los Angeles is a little over 3%. Among the homeless, it’s 22%.
Out of 4 million people, 39,826 homeless are responsible for 12.6% or one eight of aggravated assaults.
Less than 1% of the population commits one eight of the aggravated assaults in a city of four million.
Now there’s a snapshot suggesting similar numbers in another national homeless capital, Seattle.
The “System Failure” report was written by Scott Lindsay, who worked in the Ed Murray administration and ran for Seattle City Attorney. He cited the records of 100 ‘prolific offenders’ tracking their histories over the past 12 months.
Lindsay’s report shows the 100 ‘prolific offenders’ are responsible for more than 3,500 criminal cases and are often released from jail after midnight when services are hard to find.
Goodman says crime is up 31 percent this year in SODO because of the concerns listed in the report.
The answer? It’s Seattle. So obviously more pandering to the criminals.
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is not disputing the facts in the report.
“This report confirms what we already know – nearly all prolific offenders commit crimes rooted in mental health and/or chemical dependency issues. There’s little question that without direct intervention and enhanced investment in mental health, chemical dependency treatment, and housing options, this population is extremely likely to re-offend upon completion of their respective sentences. Few would argue the traditional criminal justice system is the best way to remedy these underlying issues, which is why we’re invested in the King County-led Familiar Faces Initiative and Vital pilot program, created to address the behavior of the region’s most frequent offenders,” said Homles.
And as the 31% increase in crime shows, its pro-crime policies are working brilliantly.
We already know what stops crime. Locking up criminals.
Anita Khandelwal, the director of the King County Department of Public Defense, said in a statement:
“A report issued today by several neighborhood districts in Seattle underscores the complete inefficacy of the criminal legal system in addressing homelessness and behavioral health issues. It underscores the fact that we continue to criminalize mental illness and homelessness, when in fact we need a new approach – one that provides meaningful supports for people in our community who are struggling.”
Actually the problem here has been decriminalization rather than criminalization. Treating criminal behavior as a social welfare problem has, predictably, created lots more of it.