Home Local Government King County Sheriff Confirms Increased Crime Around Homeless Encampments

King County Sheriff Confirms Increased Crime Around Homeless Encampments

by Staff Writer

At the September 11 City Council Meeting, City Manager Adolfo Bailon communicated to the council that contrary to an email sent by a Burien resident to all the council stating otherwise, the King County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that crime increases when camps are present and decreases when they leave.

This is not news to the local businesses surrounding the tent encampments. 

Regular testimony at the council meetings by the owners of Grocery Outlet and other businesses who have borne the brunt of the crime has verified this behavior. The elevation of crime was a key motivator for businesses to spend $20,000 of their own to hire the non-profit organization The More We Love to move the campers into places of healing and away from the destruction of their property and businesses. 

Bailon said at the council meeting that the message from the local resident who frequently writes to the council reports false information. You may find the full statement at the 55:30 mark of the September 11, 2023, City Council Video

Below is a summary sent to Burien News by the Burien City Staff summarizing the city manager’s report.

    • The resident reports that encampments in Burien have not caused an increase in crime.
      • This is false.
    • Data collected by our law enforcement agencies (Burien PD and KCSO crime analyst personnel) confirms that crime has increased in the areas surrounding encampments in Burien.
    • Crime has essentially followed camps as they have moved throughout the city.
      • Camps are dissolved and crime level returns to pre-camp levels.
    • This information is shared with you to ensure that you all are operating under accurate information.

Burien News has put in a public records request for the email sent to the council members and for the documents relating to the King County Sheriff’s Office conclusion. These will be reported on when they are delivered. 

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