LAKEWOOD, Wash. – The Lakewood Police Department has released a report on criminal activity for the first quarter of 2021. The report reveals a 5.2% drop in total crime from the prior quarter and a 5.8% drop from the first quarter of the previous year.
The department assigns crimes to three general categories: person, property, and society. Person crimes include physical or sexual assault and murder. Property crimes include theft, burglary, and vandalism. Society crimes involve narcotics, prostitution, and other vice-related incidents.
Person crimes rose 14.6% from Q4 2020, but remain 21.5% lower than the first quarter of the prior year. Person crime has maintained a general decline since 2019.
Property crimes fell 5.8% from the prior quarter. Property crime increased dramatically in 2020, a trend that the department attributes to side effects of the pandemic. Property crime has fallen 11% from the Q3 2020 peak.
Society crimes fell by 39.6% in Q1 2021 from the prior quarter. A reduction in drug crimes may be partially attributable to the State v. Blake case, which struck down the state’s current criminal law regarding controlled substances. In response, the Lakewood City Council recently approved an ordinance to classify knowing possession of a controlled substance as a gross misdemeanor. In the brief interim, no drug arrests were made in the absence a criminal law against possession.
“These trends underscore a multitude of unusual factors contributing to changing crime rates. From COVID-related jail booking restrictions to changes in case law, the Department is rolling with the punches and staying focused on protecting the community.”– Mike Zaro, Chief of Police