Is it safe to live in Oahu? I'm asked that question frequently. People say they want a safe area. As if maybe if they don't say that, I'm going to put them in the middle of a war zone. Well safe could mean many things. To me, safe means I won't get killed or attacked. Most of Oahu is very safe in those terms, meaning I probably won't get murdered.

But Star Bulletin reported this morning that Hawaii has the highest larceny-theft rate in the country in 2006 despite an 11 percent decrease from the previous year, according to statistics the FBI released yesterday.

So maybe I'll get robbed? Hawaii had an 11.9% reduction in all property crimes in '06 but still had the fifth-highest property crime rate in the country. Hawaii also had the 6th highest motor vehicle theft rate last year despite a 15 percent drop compared with 2005.

    "Fueled by double-digit increases in robberies and aggravated assaults, a 10.1
    percent increase in violent crime hit Hawaii in 2006 compared with the previous
    year. However, the state's violent crime rate of 281.2 was the 16th lowest in
    2006. And we had the fourth-lowest murder and negligent manslaughter rate in the country last year. "

Would you rather be murdered or robbed? I guess what this says is that we have a lot of poor people who want to steal your car or wallet, but they are not the violent type. Most likely the high theft is because a lot of youth grow up very poor in Hawaii, especially in Waianae. Also a lot of the theft occurs when tourists leave valuables in their cars.

As usual, The DC was the murder capital of the country. It also had the highest rates of violent crime, robbery and aggravated assault, by wide margins over the next highest. Great, so that's what the politicians do for fun. I wonder if the stats would be any different if they just took them from the capitol.