The recently issued crime statistics for 2013 painted a grim scenario of the law and order situation in Hawaii County. Issued by the office of the Attorney General of Hawaii State, the report offered information on the occurrence rates of such heinous crimes as rape, homicide, aggravated assault, robbery as well as property crimes such as auto theft and burglary.
Nearly 5300 criminal incidents were reported in the area in 2013 of which over 90% were property crimes while 10% were violent crimes. An estimated 550 violent criminal reports were lodged with the different divisions of Hawaii County Police Department.
Although on the surface this may not seem terrible, when compared with the violent crime rate of 2012, the difference becomes glaringly evident. In 2012, only 227 reports were filed against violent criminal acts for 10,000 residents. The violent crime rate of 2014 was the highest since 2005, when 286 criminal complaints were filed in such matters.
While it is easy to figure out that there has been an increase of almost 60% in the number of violent crimes, the statistics do not answer the all important question-“Why”. The Assistant Police Chief tried to allay the fears created by this report by saying that the difference in the violent crime rates of 2012 and 2013 is indeed significant but when pitted against the number of violent crimes that occurred from 2009-2013, the change is small.
As far as specific crime categories were concerned, the most worrisome growth was observed in the number of aggravated assaults, which clocked in almost 400 complaints. This was a marked increase even over the previous highest record of 363 reported in 2011. There was also an increase of nearly 80% in homicide and attempted murder cases. Additionally, 10% of the total crime rate was attributed to forcible rape cases while robbery accounted for 16% of this figure with almost 90 incidents.