APD: Crime in Anchorage is trending down in almost every category

Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 6:33 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Police Department says crime in Alaska’s largest city is trending downward in almost every category.

Tuesday, Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll presented crime statistics to the Anchorage Assembly Public Safety Committee during a virtual meeting.

The data looks at the first half of 2020 compared to the same time frame during the previous three years.

When it comes to property crime, reports of theft, stolen vehicles, burglaries, vandalism and shoplifting are all down.

In the violent crime category, reports of assault and sexual assaults are down, while reports of robbery have increased slightly since last year.

The numbers also show homicides are down significantly, with five in the first half of the year compared to 18 by that time last year.

According to APD records, Anchorage has seen a total of six homicides to date in 2020.

It’s unclear what role, if any, the COVID-19 pandemic plays in this year’s lower rates of violence, but Doll has attributed the progress to multiple public safety measures in place.

“I get asked frequently if all of this downward trending stuff is as a result of coronavirus,” said Doll. “And I generally say, ’I don’t think so,’ because we saw these trends begin kind of the end of last year, or maybe last fall, and continue into this year.”

Doll did say the one crime category he believes could be trending down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is shoplifting.

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