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The FBI released its preliminary 2008 crime data today, and Seattle's results are a mixed bag. Overall, violent crime is down in the city, though

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FBI: Seattle Arson and Car Theft Down, Rape and Population Up

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The FBI released its preliminary 2008 crime data today, and Seattle's results are a mixed bag. Overall, violent crime is down in the city, though rapes increased 40%, from 90 in 2007 to 126 in 2008. Murders inched up from 24 to 29. Meanwhile, car thefts dropped more than 37% (from 5,782 to 3,675)--likely the result of more targeted enforcement and prosecution--and Arson about 57% (from 183 to 79).

Also worth noting: the city's population bumped up. Neither the Census Bureau nor the state Office of Financial Management has released population statistics lately, but at last reading, the former had 594,210 and the latter 592,800. By contrast, in its preliminary report, the FBI listed the city's population at 598,077.

Since '08, the city's seen an increase in aggravated assaults and robberies. Of particular concern is an increase in shootings and robberies involving kids, interim Police Chief John Diaz tells the Seattle Times.

On a related note, the City Council will be holding a forum tonight, facilitated by KCTS's Enrique Cerna, on gang violence in the region and what can be done to address it. 7 PM, City Hall (600 4th Ave.), Bertha Landes Room.

 
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