It’s been a little over a year (June 19) since it was decided to activate the Rainier Beach Safeway parking lot– despite the pandemic– due to a rise in incidents that contribute to neighborhood violence.  Our job, based on research, tells us that activating spaces with non-arrest crime intervention services (youth and neighborhood engagement, guardianship) results in a reduction in incidences of youth crime. (Check out this article to get educated on this idea.  

We asked our researchers from George Mason University’s Center for Evidence Based Crime Policy out of its Department of Criminology, Law, and Society to crunch some numbers over this time to see what the data says. It was determined that aggravated and simple assaults, as well as robbery, recorded by police, did not increase substantially at the Our Safeway hot spot in 2020 as compared to 2019; they remained at low levels for both youth and adults.  Two sets of demographic data are kept, one for youth aged 25 years and under and one for adults aged 26 years and over. For Our Safeway Hotspot broad category offenses, Winter 2020-2021 police-recorded crimes for both youth and adults have decreased or remained steadily low in the Winter 2020-2021. In 2020, calls for service, specifically calls for “disturbances/disorder substantially increased.  Most calls for service were handled by either a report being created (no arrests made) or by an officer “rendering assistance.” These types of incidents do not necessarily indicate crimes or arrests, but may be indicative of some kind of activity in the Our Safeway hot spot area. 

We remain vigilant in continuing this activation exercise and have our eyes set on expansion. Instead of one day per week each Friday, we want to activate 5 spaces four days a week. This will take committed and sustainable investment for which we are calling on our elected officials, philanthropic organizations, and corporations to commit to. 

We’ve got your back, do you have RBAC?