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Murder was up 47%, fraud 113% in Washington during 2020, crime report shows

Washington saw an increase in Group A offenses, which include violent crimes, property crimes and crimes against society, according to the report.

WASHINGTON, USA — Murder, manslaughter and fraud were on the rise in 2020 in Washington state, according to a crime report by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC). 

The report was compiled based on crime and arrest data from contributing law enforcement agencies across the state. The report is intended to give residents, elected officials and law enforcement agencies information about crime in their communities, according to WASPC. 

In 2020, there was an overall increase in Group A offenses in Washington. Group A offenses include crimes against people, crimes against property and crimes against society. There were 495,984 Group A offenses reported in 2020, compared to 463,055 Group A offenses in 2019, for an overall increase of 7.1%.

There were 302 murders in 2020 compared to 206 murders in 2019, which is an increase of 46.6%, according to the report. Manslaughter was up 100%, with 34 incidents in 2020 compared to 17 in 2019. 

Fraud saw the biggest increase, with 59,134 fraud offenses compared to 25,562 offenses reported in 2019. The increase was due in part to fraudulent unemployment claims filed during the pandemic, according to WASPC. 

Property crimes also increased by 13.8% in the state. Property crime also represents the biggest portion of all crime reported at 73.7%. 

Although murder and manslaughter increased, violent crime overall decreased in 2020 by 3.6%, and represented 19.9% of all crimes reported by law enforcement agencies in Washington state. 

The number of domestic violence incidents saw an increase with 59,289 incidents reported last year, and 56,532 reported in 2019. 

Hate crimes went down statewide from 559 incidents in 2019 to 468 incidents in 2020.

Crimes were most frequently reported in August, and least frequently reported in April, according to the report.