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Figures show Wilsonville with less than half the violent crime rate of other cities its size



Photo Credit: SPOKESMAN FILE PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The Wilsonville Police Department stresses community-based policing, including bike patrols, shown here. While not every city can be compared in an apples-to-apples manner, Wilsonville still recorded a much lower violent crime rate than other cities of comparable size across the country in 2013. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently released its 2013 national crime statistics, and it reveals that Wilsonville compares quite favorably with other Oregon cities of similar size.

There were a total of 17 violent crimes reported in Wilsonville in 2013, a category that includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. None of those were homicides; there were six rapes reported, six robberies and five aggravated assaults. By comparison, nearby Woodburn, with a population of 24, 263 persons, reported 82 violent crimes, including one murder, 28 robberies and 46 aggravated assaults.

Another neighboring city, West Linn, had only six violent crimes reported in 2013, including three cases of rape. To the north, the city of Tualatin, with a population of 26,925, reported 24 violent crimes.

To put things in perspective for Wilsonville residents, the city of Lincoln City, with a permanent population of just 7,796, recorded 34 violent crimes, a tally that includes 10 robberies and 23 aggravated assaults.

For Wilsonville, the overall numbers roughly equate to a rate of 81 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, a figure that contrasts markedly with the national “suburban” rate of 220 violent crimes per 100,000 persons.

When it comes to property crime, Wilsonville recorded 461 cases of burglary, theft, auto theft and arson in 2013, a figure that compares favorably with Tualatin, which had 783 property crimes during the same period. West Linn, however, recorded just 279 property crimes, including 36 burglaries. Woodburn had slightly fewer property crimes than Tualatin, with 733, although there were an even 100 burglaries in the Marion County town to go along with 47 auto thefts.

As a state, Oregon recorded just 78 murders during 2013, a figure that, even when adjusted for population, compares quite favorably with neighboring California, which recorded 1,745 murders, 1,224 of which were committed with firearms, according to FBI data. In Oregon, 43 of the 78 homicides in 2013 were committed with firearms, or 55 percent.

Nationally, FBI data shows that the total violent crime rate in the United States for 2013 is 382 offenses per 100,000 persons. There were a total of 13,483 murders in 2013, a rate of 4.6 per 100,000 residents.

When just cities with populations between 10,000 and 24,999 — the category that includes Wilsonville — are examined, FBI statistics show that there is a national rate of 220 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. This category does not include West Linn or Tualatin, both of which are slightly larger and fall into the smallest of the FBI’s five “nonsuburban city” categories. Both West Linn and Tualatin are in the nonsuburban cities Group V, which includes cities with populations between 25,000 and 49,999. In this category there is a marked jump in the violent crime rate nationally to just over 460 offenses per 100,000 persons. Neither West Linn or Tualatin fall anywhere near that mark, however.

In suburban cities between 10,000-24,999 in population, the overall trend nationally is positive: violent crime rates across America fell 5.4 percent in this category from 2012 to 2013. This is also true of cities between 25,000 and 49,000, which saw a 5.9 percent fall in violent crime nationally during the same period.

Overall, the entire country saw a 4.4 percent fall in reported violent crime from 2012 to 2013. At the same time, FBI numbers show a steady increase in the number of justifiable homicides by law enforcement officers during the past four years, from 397 in 2010 to 461 in 2013. There were 404 in 2011 and 426 in 2012.

The FBI has a plethora of recent and historical crime statistics at its Uniform Crime Report webpage: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr.

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