Crime in Hawaii 2002 (Annual)

Serious juvenile crime in Hawaii at fifth consecutive record low level, overall crime rate up 12.2% in 2002

October 29, 2003 – The Department of the Attorney General released its annual Uniform Crime Report, Crime in Hawaii 2002, which shows that serious juvenile crime in Hawaii reached its fifth consecutive record low level in 2002, while the state’s overall Index Crime* rate increased 12.2% from the rate reported for 2001. Attorney General Mark Bennett stated that, “While there have been crime rate increases during the last three years, the increases are based upon Hawaii’s unprecedented low crime rates during the late-1990s. And while the 2002 crime rate is somewhat higher than historical averages, it is also below the level reported ten years ago.”

A total of 75,238 Index Crimes were reported statewide in 2002, yielding a rate of 6,043.7 offenses per 100,000 resident population. The rate of reported violent Index Crimes in Hawaii increased 2.7% in 2002 and the property Index Crime rate rose 12.7%. Hawaii’s total, violent, and property Index Crime rates in 2002 were, respectively, 4.6%, 0.8%, and 4.7% below the rates reported a decade earlier (1993).

Index Crime arrest data provide the most consistent measure of the extent of serious juvenile crime in Hawaii. Statewide juvenile Index Crime arrests reached their fifth consecutive annual record low level in 2002, with 2,499 arrests reported statewide. Juvenile Index Crime arrests ranged from 4,000 to 7,000 annually during the 1975-1997 period and thereafter plummeted in each subsequent year; the 2002 figure marks a 47.5% decrease over the previous 10-year period.

Other highlights of Crime in Hawaii 2002 include the following:

The murder and forcible rape rates decreased 26.9% and 10.5%, respectively, in Hawaii in 2002. The robbery rate increased 4.2% and the aggravated assault rate rose 6.1%. There were 3,262 violent Index Crimes reported in Hawaii in 2002, representing a rate of 262.0 offenses per 100,000 residents.

The rate for each property Index Crime increased in 2002: Motor Vehicle Theft (44.5%), Burglary (12.1%), and Larceny-Theft (8.0%). The 2002 motor vehicle theft rate is the highest on record. A total of 71,976 property Index Crimes were reported statewide in 2002, yielding a rate of 5,781.7 offenses per 100,000 residents.

The number of statewide Index Crime arrests increased 2.1% in 2002. Arrests for violent Index Crimes rose 6.4% and edged up 1.3% for property Index Crimes. Crime in Hawaii 2002 also provides state and county data on the age, gender, and race/ethnicity of arrestees.

Based on the proportion of arrests (plus cases closed by “exceptional means”) to reported offenses, the total clearance rate for reported Index Crimes fell from 12.4% in 2001 to 10.5% in 2002, reaching a record low level.

The City & County of Honolulu’s Index Crime rate increased 16.3% in 2002, with the violent crime rate climbing 4.3% and the property crime rate up 16.9%. The City & County of Honolulu’s total and property Index Crime rates in 2002 were the highest in the state.

Hawaii County’s Index Crime rate fell 2.4% in 2002. The violent crime rate decreased
21.6% and the property crime rate dropped 1.6%. Hawaii County’s total, violent, and property Index Crime rates in 2002 were the lowest in the state.

The Index Crime rate in Maui County decreased 4.0% in 2002, with the violent crime rate falling 11.9% and the property crime rate down 3.7%.

Major increases were reported by Kauai County in 2002, with the total Index Crime rate increasing 28.2%, the violent crime rate rising 84.2%, and the property crime rate up 25.8%. Kauai County’s violent crime rate in 2002 was the highest in the state.

Twenty-four murders were reported statewide in 2002, down from 32 reported in 2001 and tying the record low set in 1999. Females comprised 33.3% of the murder victims and 5.0% of the alleged offenders in 2002. The breakdown for the relationship between victims and offenders in 2002 includes: acquaintance, 33.3%; unknown relationship, 29.2%; stranger, 12.5%; spouse, 8.3%; girlfriend/boyfriend, 8.3%; and immediate family, 8.3%.

Of the 2,890 murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults reported statewide during 2002, 60.4% were committed using strong-arm weapons (i.e., hands, fists, and feet); 18.5% with “other” or unknown weapons, 11.0% with firearms, and 9.9% with edged weapons.

Just over $69 million in property was reported stolen in Hawaii during 2002, up 13.2% from 2001. Of the total value stolen in 2002, 19.8% was recovered, up from 15.4% recovered in 2001.

In 2002, 252 assaults on Hawaii’s police officers were recorded (a rate of 9.0 assaults per 100 officers), tying the record low tally reported in 2001. Crime in Hawaii 2002 also provides data on the time of day, type of assignment, and the weapons used in assaults against police officers.

On October 31, 2002, a total of 2,799 police officers and 754 civilians were employed by the four county police departments, denoting a 1.5% increase in officers and a 2.3% decrease in civilians from the figures reported for October 31, 2001.

*Including the violent Index Crimes of murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, and robbery; the property Index Crimes of burglary, motor vehicle theft, and larceny-theft; and, tracked separately, arson.