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Sheriff’s Report on Crime Increase With Homeless Encampments

by Staff Writer

King County Sheriff’s Department has compiled crime numbers for the homeless encampments in Burien since January 2023. The number shows a clear uptick in illegal activity and demand on police services wherever an encampment is set up. 

Burien News reported earlier this week that at the Monday City Council Meeting, City Manager Adolfo Bailon corrected an email from a Burien resident stating that an increase in crime rates is not associated with homeless encampments. Bailon shared that he has information from the King County Sheriff with data demonstrating that crime increases when camps are established and decreases once they disperse. 

Burien News promised to share with our readers the data from the King County Sherriff office upon fulfillment of a request for public information. Below, please find the email exchange, the data, and the graphs presented to Bailon.

The data shows a surge in crime. However, for those who have seen trafficking and child rape, possession of stolen goods in shopping carts, open drug selling, and more, these numbers may seem understated. Business owners and managers in the area have told the city council that they only report one in ten crimes due to the lack of protection and time required to fill out paperwork. 

Burien News has promised to share the email sent by the local resident to all the city council members making the errant claim. We will do so when our public record request to the city is fulfilled. 

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