Police report confirms jump in major crimes, adds neighborhood data

Nathaniel Herz

A report released by the Anchorage Police Department confirms across-the-board increases in the number of serious crimes reported in the city last year.

The report, which was posted unannounced to the city's website, shows that Anchorage had more reports of serious crimes, including murders, rapes and burglaries, in 2012 than in 2011.

Those numbers, for major categories of crime, had been released by the FBI earlier this fall. But the department's report also includes a wealth of previously unpublished data on other types of crime such as DUI, prostitution, and weapons offenses, and it also contains detailed breakdowns for city neighborhoods.

A police spokeswoman said that Chief Mark Mew was not immediately available for comment.

A few of the most interesting numbers:

• The number of DUI arrests dropped from 2,181 to 1,875 between 2011 and 2012, which continues a downward trend since at least 2008. Police, however, have said that DUI numbers reflect enforcement efforts more than behavior.

• Drunk transports dropped from 4,352 to 3,707, or about 15 percent, though the total number of calls involving drunk people had almost no change.

• Domestic violence related reports dropped from 535 to 458.

• The number of prostitution reports declined from 68 to 49. That's also the lowest level since at least 2008, when there were 184 reports of prostitution.

The report also showed a small decrease in the total number of traffic accidents, from 8,211 in 2011 to 8,085 in 2012. The number of traffic violations was way down, going from 48,062 to 38,707 between 2011 and 2012 -- though last year's number is nearly identical to the number of violations recorded in 2010.

Reach Nathaniel Herz at nherz@adn.com or 257-4311.