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Are you not reporting a crime in Seattle? Why it matters

SEATTLE - Bryant Casal has an interesting collection.

“These are incident reports,” Casal said.

Little cards showing all the times he’s made a direct crime report to a Seattle police officer.

During our interview he counted 16 times when he has had to deal with break ins or damage as a landlord to several properties in the University District.

“I don’t have the case numbers for all my tenants that has had their window broken and have their packages stolen,” Casal said.

He’s tired of the wait and the process that goes into reporting crime in Seattle.

Q13 News first met Casal at Tuesday’s Ballard safety meeting, where he directed his frustration to city leaders.

“Nobody calls anymore. Waiting 3 hours to get a little card that says you got screwed over is not worth it anymore,” Casal said.

He says he’s not reporting all the incidents, something we are hearing from others who say 'Why bother?'

“I thought if I called after the fact it’s what’s the big deal, nothing will happen,” Downtown Seattle resident Karin Philomin said.

Philomin says she was randomly assaulted downtown by a man demanding money earlier this year. She now regrets not calling 911.

“I was attacked, he hit me hard on the shoulder,” Philomin said.

The day we spoke to Philomin is the same time Seattle Police released their latest crime data, saying overall crime in Seattle is down by 12 percent so far this year with the exception of aggravated assaults which are up by 6 percent. But if some people are not reporting crimes is that data accurate?

“That’s a hard one to answer, I can’t speak on what’s not being reported,” Assistant Police Chief Eric Greening said.

“We are trying to create an easier way for people to report those property crimes because we know often times people don’t even want to call because it takes too long. I did that myself before I was mayor, my car got broke into. 'Ok I’m just going to get the windows fixed,'” Mayor Jenny Durkan said.

But reports of even the most minor crimes matter even if an officer can’t make it to the scene.

“It helps how we deploy, how we operate, it helps inform budget decisions,” Greening said.

So even if there is no outcome for your case, your report could help impact long term resources and strategies on how to fight crime.

But Casal says he’s losing hope that things will get better.

“We want to succeed here in Seattle, this is our home. How much can we take?” Casal said.

If you call 911 it does not mean that is an official police report. Sometimes people will call for minor crimes and officers cannot get there right away to get a report down because they are working on higher priority cases. So for minor crimes you are encouraged to file a report online.

You can also call the non-emergency line and someone on the phone could file a report over the phone. The non emergency line is 206 625 5011.

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