LIHU‘E — Crime on the island is down about 35% compared to last year, according to Kaua‘i Police Department Chief Todd Raybuck.
As of the end of June, KPD has responded to 766 reports of Part 1 offenses, which include homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and motor-vehicle theft. Last year, KPD officers responded to 1,174 reports in the same time period, Raybuck said during the most recent Police Commission meeting.
Violent crime on the island is down 11%.
The most significant decrease came for property crime, down 37.2% compared to the first six months of last year. These crimes, Raybuck said, are usually opportunistic, and with fewer tourists, the availability of these crimes is more limited.
Domestic violence, on the other hand, has remained fairly on par with last year.
“There’s been a lot of conversation about potential impact because of COVID and additional stresses,” Raybuck said. But that’s not the case, according to reports.
Raybuck reviewed two types of calls to date. The first, abuse of family or household member, is a criminal charge. From January to June 2019, KPD reported 193 cases involving allegations of abuse. In 2020, KPD reported 191 cases.
Month-to-month, KPD did see increases in February and March 2020 over the same months in 2019, but decreases in April through June this year compared to the same months last year.
The second type is domestic arguments, including calls for services where officers responded but they did not result in a criminal offense. This showed a slight increase from 487 calls in 2019 to 504 in 2020.
Anecdotally, Raybuck attributed the decrease in crime to increased visibility.
“Clearly, as COVID has highlighted our response, efforts and presence in the community, (that does) certainly play a role in decreasing our crime,” Raybuck said.
Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or email@example.com.