Verify: Are Spokane's crime rates the worst in the nation?

According to that data from 2015, Neighborhood Scout said Spokane has one of the worst crime rates in the U.S.

SPOKANE, Wash. -- There is rarely a day where we do not tell you about a crime reported in our area. This led one viewer to ask us to look into Spokane's crime rate.        

Neighborhood Scout is an online database of U.S. neighborhood analytics and it uses raw FBI data. According to that data from 2015, Neighborhood Scout said Spokane has one of the worst crime rates in the U.S.

In total, Spokane had 1,161 violent crimes and nearly 15,971 property crimes in 2015. KREM 2 verified these numbers by directly referencing the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting website and the totals check out.

Neighborhood Scout also breaks down your chances of being a crime victim based on every 1,000 residents in Spokane. For violent crimes, there is a one in 184 chance of being a victim, and one in 13 for being a victim of property crimes. 

Assault is the most common violent crime and theft is the most common property crime. KREM 2 took those numbers to Spokane Police. 

"I can't argue with the numbers," Officer John O'Brien said. "All I can say is we are continually working to bring those numbers down and keep Spokane a safe community."

O'Brien also referred KREM 2 to the city's own independent crime map. Even those numbers show assault and theft as the most common crimes in Spokane.

These numbers may be slightly different than the federal data. Officer O'Brien said that is because the department recently transitioned from FBI data to National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

The new system records every crime that happened during an incident, whereas the old system only counted one of the crimes. 

Therefore, we can verify that Spokane does have one of the worst crime rates in the U.S. per capita. Detroit falls into that category as well, but it also has a much larger population and a higher number of reported violent and property crimes compared to Spokane.

Verify: Sources

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