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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 14, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Violent crime in downtown Seattle

City leaders must face reality

Our mayor, using cherry-picked statistics, says violent crime is down in the downtown area. [“Data: Violent crime spikes downtown in summer,” page one, Aug. 13.]

As a downtown resident for more than eight years, I have seen street disorder, petty crime, intimidation and minor assaults increase over that time, especially during the last four years.

You don’t need to have a shooting every day to have a serious problem. The sidewalks are occupied by vagrants, aggressive panhandlers, loud people with obvious mental-health issues and running youths.

Part of the problem is lack of active enforcement by police. I am fully aware of the rights we all have, but I feel those stop when someone who is obviously unhinged wildly waves his hands in my face.

The other part of the problem is that downtown Seattle carries an overwhelming share of King County’s social services, which results in a concentration of these problems. Our current mayor’s solution to these is to deny they exist.

We need a mayor with a proven track record of working across interest groups to solve complex and sometimes divisive problems.

Paul Gutowski, Seattle

Comments | More in Politics, Seattle | Topics: crime, downtown seattle, mayor

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