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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 11/16/2003 2:48:51 PM EDT
I post this to give everyone a taste of Hawaii's reality.


Posted on: Sunday, November 16, 2003
91% of major crimes unsolved in Honolulu

By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer

Honolulu police solved major crimes at a rate of less than 9 percent last year, the lowest in nearly three decades and lower than Mainland cities with comparable populations, according to a recent report by the Attorney General's Office.

Honolulu police cleared about 5,000 cases, but reported more than 57,000 major crimes last year for a clearance rate of 8.7 percent, the lowest since 1975 when the data was first gathered, according to Crime in Hawai'i 2002.

The figure is also lower than the average clearance rate of 15.6 percent last year for Mainland cities with a similar population, according to the FBI's Crime in the United States 2002.

According to the report covering eight categories of major property and violent crimes last year, police cleared burglaries at the lowest rate, followed by motor-vehicle theft, larceny theft, robbery, aggravated assault, murders and rape.

Honolulu police are concerned, but perplexed by the clearance rate, which has been dropping since 1998.

"We don't have an explanation right now," said Maj. Mark Nakagawa, head of the department's Criminal Investigation Division.

Police officials, however, said more manpower is needed to deal with the rising rate of crime and they say property offenses, which accounted for more than 95 percent of the crimes, are harder to solve because they often do not have any witnesses.

They also cite statistics that show the overall clearance rate for this year has improved a percentage point to 9.7 percent.

But more manpower doesn't necessarily ensure a higher rate of clearance, the statistics show. In 1998 when police were solving crimes at the highest rate in the past decade, 16.9 percent, the department employed almost 200 fewer officers than last year, when the clearance rate was a record low.

Bruce Rosen, a 47-year-old Manoa resident, is one of thousands of property crime victims on O'ahu.

His home was burglarized and thieves made off with his daughter's $700 Kamaka 'ukulele. He said the break-in saddened him and he is concerned that the department is solving burglaries at such a low rate. "It doesn't make me feel too good and it doesn't give me a lot of confidence in them (the police)," Rosen said.

Another crime victim, Jeannie Hedberg, 60, of Wai'alae Iki, lost $40,000 worth of family jewelry when her home was burglarized twice in nine weeks during February and April this year.

Hedberg was working in her garden the first time she was burglarized, 20 feet from where thieves rummaged through her purse and stole her jewelry. Hedberg bought an alarm, but that did not deter the burglars from striking again.

She said she is angry and disappointed about the Police Department's low rate of property crime clearance. "It's the violation. I live alone. Do you know how terrifying it is to know that twice in nine weeks I was targeted?" Hedberg said. "I am not happy about the low clearance rate, but I am in no position to know whether or not they (the police) have enough money budgeted to work on this."

The Crime in Hawai'i 2002 report defines an offense as cleared if it is resolved by arrest or by exceptional means. Those means cover cases in which the offender is known, but for reasons outside the control of law enforcement, the offender cannot be arrested, charged and prosecuted. Examples include suicides, a deathbed confession or denied extradition.

A clearance rate is "a success rate, no doubt about it, and the success rate is going down," said Gary Fleck, a professor at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University.

The clearance rate for the state in 2002 was 10.5 percent for 75,238 major crimes. The rates for the Neighbor Island counties were: 22.6 percent for 6,936 cases, Hawai'i County; 16.1 percent for 3,045 cases, Kaua'i County; and 10.4 percent for 7,986 cases, Maui County, which also covers Lana'i and Moloka'i. The Hawai'i County figures are undergoing a review for minor adjustments after the FBI identified a quirk in the method used to calculate clearance rates.

With the lowest rate, O'ahu fueled the statewide drop because the island's 57,271 major crimes were 76 percent of the state total.

O'ahu's rate of 8.7 percent was also less than half the average clearance rate of 18.4 percent for Pacific region law enforcement agencies last year, according to the FBI report. Those include 1,118 law enforcement agencies serving a population of nearly 44 million people.

Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University, said clearance rates should not be used as a bottom line measure for a police department's effectiveness because the rates are easily influenced by factors outside the control of law enforcement.

Link Posted: 11/16/2003 2:50:08 PM EDT

For example, Blumstein said many criminals will claim responsibility for crimes they didn't commit to gain favorable treatment from police. He cited burglaries as an example of a crime that is difficult to clear because unless you catch the burglar in the act, no one knows who the perpetrator is.

He said low clearance rates are not necessarily indicative of poor policing nor is a high clearance rate indicative of good police work. But, he said, Honolulu's falling rate deserves an explanation.

"If it's (clearance rate) going down last year you want to know why, if it's really going down over a number of years you really want to know why," Blumstein said.

Although they can't explain the drop in the clearance rate, Honolulu police officials said they need more officers.

"One thing we've been trying to do to solve that problem for several years now is to fill our vacancies," Deputy Chief Paul Putzulu said. "The more staffing you have, the better you're able to follow up on leads and continue investigations."

The department has 263 vacancies for active-duty officers. The department also has 192 officers involved in varying levels of training.

Police officials said the clearance rate jumped a percentage point this year with the clearance of 2,952 of 30,541 major offenses reported between January and July. The cases solved also includes five murders last year, which means 15 of the 18 murders on O'ahu last year are now solved.

Police also agree with Blumstein that one problem is solving crimes without witnesses. Nakagawa said property crimes are the most difficult to solve because the victims tend not to know the thieves and rarely do victims witness the crime being committed. They said their clearance rate is heavily affected by property crimes, particularly larceny theft.

Hawai'i's rate of 3,963.7 larceny-thefts per 100,000 residents was the highest in the nation last year. Of the 54,670 property crimes, 37,250 were larceny-theft cases. Police on Oahu solved property crimes at a rate of 7.6 percent. The national average for cities of similar size is 11.9 percent, according to the FBI report.

Larceny theft is defined as the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession of another.

Nakagawa said the department needs more input from residents to help solve certain property crimes.

"We have no control over the circumstances given us to investigate," Nakagawa said. "We need citizens more willing to report their observations to us; people may see the crime occurring but for whatever reason they may decide not to give a statement to our officers."

David Johnson, a sociologist at the University of Hawai'i, said the clearance rate is also a function of some factors outside of police control, such as solidarity of society or the propensity of people to cooperate with police officers.

"So a high or low clearance rate may not be all attributable to police behavior," Johnson said.

Former Police Chief Mike Nakamura said the crime rate numbers could be misleading because the department makes a case out of almost every reported crime, while other Mainland jurisdictions don't.

"You get your license plate stolen, we make a case out of that; you get your bike stolen, we make a case out of that," he said. "We record more crime in Hawai'i than other jurisdictions. Its a more accurate count."

Link Posted: 11/16/2003 2:54:05 PM EDT
The VI are just as bad. Thats why Im jumping ship.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 2:56:27 PM EDT
McGarrett didn't put up with that sort of foolishness.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 3:38:57 PM EDT
Book'em Danno.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 3:49:44 PM EDT
It's a friggin small chain of Islands, if they can't catch the criminals in such an isolated environment, the detectives need to quit surfing and start sleuthing.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 3:53:05 PM EDT
It would appear that Hawaii is becoming a reproduction of Australia and the UK. Solidly democratic (socialist), ridiculous gun laws, people that are passive to a fault. I’m sure the ethnic makeup of the population is playing a part in all this.

Anyone over there talking about self-defense and standing up to these criminal bastards?


Would HPD come out and tell the public that they should be more proactive and aggressive in deterring crime?


Cost of living is astronomical, the rock is over crowded, paradise has been paved over for freeways, tract housing and strip malls, crime is rampant but hey, the weather and surf is nice.

Airwolf – Born Honolulu, 1957. Last trip back was in the mid-90’s and the place reminded me of Los Angeles with better weather and more palm trees. [>Q]
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 4:00:18 PM EDT
Holy shit, Chief Wiggum works for the Honolulu PD.

When I was in Honolulu, I'd see t-shirts ridiculing the Hawaiian work ethic. Like a schedule of the typical Hawaiian work day, coffee breaks every 30 minutes, 2 hour lunch breaks, etc.

Not having ever lived in Hawaii, I figured it's just a joke or something.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 4:04:25 PM EDT
Where's Magnum P.I. when you need him?
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 4:13:36 PM EDT
Stealing from tourists is sport. Rental cars are fair game. Who's coming back to deal with someone stealing your camera? Who feels sorrry for rich tourists?

OTOH rich tourists will go where they feel safer or?
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 4:14:49 PM EDT
Actually, I don’t think DC’s clearance rate is any better.

Admittedly, that’s not much of a comparison!!

At least your weather is better!
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 4:21:58 PM EDT
I lived in Hawaii for about six months when working on a contract. The impression I got was that it was about a half-step removed, if that, from a third world plantation society. Most of the land is owned by a few entities, and the politics are thouroughly inbred and scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours. It's desprately in need of reform.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 4:22:41 PM EDT

"We don't have an explanation right now," said Maj. Mark Nakagawa, head of the department's Criminal Investigation Division.


"Time to start cooking the books ladies and gents! Lets get to it!"

Link Posted: 11/16/2003 4:31:26 PM EDT
Well...apparently not much has changed since 1985...when we left. We were stationed there in 1975-76 and 1982-85. A big joke then was the amount of unsolved crimes and the ease with which the cons busted out of the Honolulu jail.

Let's face it...there ain't nowhere for the bad guys to go...so they must either have help from their large extended families...and the dunce lawdogs...or maybe its just that the folks there don't much give a damn. Either way...the root cause is as has been suggested, liberalism run rampant.

I had two of my sailors mugged one night just outside the Makalapa gate over by the stadium. The muggers were two in number...one of which was a 500lb Samoan-type who simply CRUSHED the face of one of my guys. We had to admit the kid to the hospital with a fractured skull. Never did catch the prick as far as I know. The cops reaction that night was...so what?

Nice place to visit...but I'd not like moving back again.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 4:40:27 PM EDT
Hawaii is having a major problem with Ice and Meth, so this does not suprise me at all. The Hawaiian's are pretty frigg'n lazy due to the culture of enjoying life and not wanting to work (I read this in an artcle about the drug problems in Hawaii, so don't flame me). The country side is said be much worse due to farmers are not allow to shoot tresspassers at night (Ala, Texas Style). The people who are most heavly armed are, you guessed it, the bad guys. Limit access to firearms for law abiding people and the bad guys will use them because they know you won't have them.

Link Posted: 11/16/2003 5:06:28 PM EDT
My wife's step brother was stationed there for 10 years. His wife is from there. He always said the crime rate was unbelieveable. They kept it covered up to keep the tourists coming. He is getting a transfer so he can move back next summer.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 5:33:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/16/2003 5:47:20 PM EDT by centermass69]

Originally Posted By Mr_Mullen:
Hawaii is having a major problem with Ice and Meth, so this does not suprise me at all. The Hawaiian's are pretty frigg'n lazy due to the culture of enjoying life and not wanting to work (I read this in an artcle about the drug problems in Hawaii, so don't flame me). The country side is said be much worse due to farmers are not allow to shoot tresspassers at night (Ala, Texas Style). The people who are most heavly armed are, you guessed it, the bad guys. Limit access to firearms for law abiding people and the bad guys will use them because they know you won't have them.

All right guys i hafe to dispell all the rumors about hawaii gun laws/or limited access to guns.any body in hawaii can buy a gun, it cost $24 to get a long arm permit, they take your picture/finger print, run your NCIC file and bang your done(as long as your not a felon)..pistols same way but you have to take a defensive pistol class.....not a bad ideal if you ask me. AND here is a kicker most people dont know you can own HI-CAP MAGS, for long arms. the only exception is
pistol/assult pistol cant hold more than 10rnds..
As for crime yea theft is pretty high, but crimes
like murder and rape it dosent happen as often as it does on the main land.and yes METH and X are major problems in HAWAII. oh i just moved from there in case your wondering.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 8:56:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 9:03:59 PM EDT
Sounds like Hawaii might be the one place in the nation that would actually HAVE a bloodbath if there were nationwide CCW reciprocity

All those criminals coming into contact with armed mainlanders who take crime seriously...
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 9:08:25 PM EDT
I have to assume the problem is systemic, since these assclowns refer to HOME BURGLARIES as "property crimes." That betrays an attitude that probably explains the rest of the difficulty. Here in God's country, ANY burglary is a forcible felony, for which the perpetrator's life is forfeit if caught in the act.

Hmmm. Let's see. Shrug at crimes for which people are killed elsewhere - then wonder why you can't catch bad guys on an ISLAND!!!???
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 9:09:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Troy:
Actually, the murder and rape rates are pretty high. They're just WAY overshadowed by the HIGH rate of robberies, burglaries, and assaults, many of them being extremely violent. Many ethnic Hawaiians feel perfectly justified in taking whatever they wish from Haoles, and have no problem with beating them down to do it. Even young teens attack tourists pretty frequently. They know that most people will be on a plane and out of there in a few days, so who is going to stay and prosecute them?

As much as they complain about the tourists, though, they have no problem taking their money.


People wonder why I cant stand being in Hawaii more than a week or so. The natives' attitude more than anything. They dont like me, I dont like them.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 10:21:06 PM EDT
Ok guys listen up because I am going to answer a few of your questions. Born here and raised, still live here also. How ever I benefit from a california education and was in the army. I am how ever am one of the lazy locals. All these things you say is nothing new. The cops attitudes is to fight it out among your selves. Every one knows who did what, it is just every one has ties to every one else so no one wants to arrest or prosecute any body. So most things get settled by going over and beating the guy up in there house. The reason why CCW and fire arms in general are so looked down upon is because it will be a blood bath. There are family feudes, people mobbing each other, and just the general sport of mugging tourists and military. I will say that again the general sport of mugging tourists and military. The cops are part of this mentality. So when you file a report for stalking or terroristic threatening or what ever they look at you like your a weakling and wonder why you can't take care of your self. The way you settle any dispute is you get a bunch of your friends, drag the guy out of his house and beat them. So if your all wondering why somoans are left alone no matter what they are doing it is because they are the first people we call to get some one. They are enforcers pure and simple.
Now about acquiring a firearm. The laws are very strict. The high cap mag part is a yes and no. Yes you can have high cap rifle mags but not ones that can be put into any pistol or short arm. So you can't have 30 round GI mags because there is an AR pistol. The list goes on and on so basically you can't have hi cap mags for anything. CCW is on the books. It must be approved by the police chief. So the policy is to deny everyone. Everyone except his daughter. Funny huh. By the way if you shoot someone breaking in or trying to drag you out of your house and beat you to death you have committed murder. Self defence is a crime.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 11:41:00 PM EDT
Hindsight IS 20-20. I moved out of there in 97. Born and raised there because my dad was in the Navy and retired in Hawaii. I agree with what Section_Leader said. BTW. I had my 10/22 confiscated on UH campus when I was dorming there. It had a hi cap mag (those hard to find ones nowadays) Some shitty lib of a roomate ratted me out over some bullshit. HPD was called and came to search my room. I never got arrested for having a hi cap. I even got everything back after the semester was over. This was right after the 94 ban so it's wierd nothing happened. Maybe it was too much paperwork for the police to process so they said fuck it let's go get some beers. One funny story I used to hear when i was a kid was called "Green Harvest". A police chopper would fly around the neighborhood looking for marijuana crops and plants in peoples backyards. They would then call vice to raid the house and uproot the plants. Rumour has it when they dispose of it (i.e. burn it in a remote open field), all the cops would gather and get high off the fumes. There was even a satrical comic done in the paper by the local politicl cartoonist guy.

Cops in Hawaii would always give me shit because I wasn't someones cousins-brothers-uncle- b.s. etc. etc.

I also remember some of my schoolmates whose dad was a cop or whose family member was a cop. They would get these special window stickers (policeman silhouette with a pistol drawn in superimposed on a shield- small and discrete sticker yet noticible from 2 car lengths away) Anyway, you can go 110 on the H-1 freeway and not worry about a ticket. Run a red light and it's okay. I swear the nepotism runs rampant there. A friend of mine was thinking of joining. But when he walked in the room for the initial interview. Everyone knew eachother except for him. And they seemed to be all ex high school football players whose coach was the uncle and were related somehow to some family member who got them in the force. As soon as he saw that, he walked out.
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 1:58:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 2:09:28 PM EDT
Sounds more and more like Texas is the promised land!!!
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 2:29:42 PM EDT
I'm ex-LEO, now working "Corporate Loss Prevention" for a national property development/management company. We just finalized a deal with the State of HI to renovate and manage 2000 former military housing units. I was aked to transfer out there, but after researching crime and gun laws I turned it down. Everybody thinks I'm crazy, but...
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