Safety in Seattle

Meeting Safely in Seattle

In a 2023 Gallup poll, Americans rated Seattle as one of the top three safest cities in the US. Tens of millions of visitors travel to the Emerald City each year. Still, as in any major city, there are some public safety issues the city is working to resolve. Visit Seattle closely tracks these issues and partners with key agencies and organizations who are making our city a safer place. 

At-A-Glance:

  • Crime is going down in Seattle year over year. In 2023, major reported crimes decreased citywide, with a 7% drop in violent crime and a 17% drop in property crime.
  • This is especially true in Downtown. In Downtown Seattle, violent crime is down 14% year over year and property crimes are down 26%.

Source: Seattle Police Department Crime Dashboard 

Below, you’ll find current information about major safety topics and actions our local government is taking to resolve these issues.

Crime

Seattle’s crime rates are lower than many major American cities, including several other destinations in the West. In 2023, major reported crimes decreased citywide, with significant drops in Seattle’s most-visited neighborhood, Downtown.

Seattle Police Department deliberately schedules high-visibility patrols in areas with ongoing safety concerns. Seattle also recently added a third public safety department, Community Assisted Response and Engagement (CARE), which provides alternative responses to emergency situations.

Additionally, Seattle’s mayor, Bruce Harrell, has enacted a Downtown Activation Plan that lays out specific actions to further revitalize Seattle’s downtown.

To learn more:

 

Downtown Seattle Waterfront Photo: Rachael Jones

Homelessness

Minimizing homelessness and ensuring care for our unhoused neighbors is a top priority for the current mayor’s administration. As of December 2023, tent encampments in Seattle were down 24% year over year and RV encampments were down 51%, with zero current encampments in the downtown area. While lawmakers work on long-term housing solutions, the City is coordinating with local organizations to provide services to those experiencing homelessness. 

To learn more:

Illegal Drug Use

All public drug use is illegal in Seattle (including recreational marijuana). Downtown visitors may see Seattle Police Department officers and city-supported outreach workers responding to public drug use cases. The city is piloting a program called Health 99, which dispatches an additional unit to overdose cases to provide follow-up outreach services.

To learn more:

Community Information and Policies

Seattle walks the walk when it comes to inclusivity, providing a space of belonging for everyone. It’s one of the nation’s most LGBTQIA+ friendly places—just walk across any of the iconic rainbow crosswalks in Capitol Hill or see the multitude of businesses with safe space emblems in their windows. In fact, Seattle received a 100% perfect score on Human Rights Commission’s (HRC) Municipal Equality IndexElected officials at the state and local levels across Washington State have enacted laws and policies related to LGBTQIA+ protections, reproductive health rights, and immigrant and refugee communities.

Photo: Rachael Jones

Visit Seattle Services for Groups & Attendees

Visit Seattle regularly coordinates with Seattle Police Department to strategize attendee safety ahead of conventions and meetings. Visit Seattle may be able to provide additional support for citywide meetings including:

  • Custom walking maps from hotels to meeting location
  • Welcome Ambassadors positioned street-side to help with directions and general city questions
  • Musicians to welcome attendees to Seattle Convention Center
  • Safety tip one-sheet for meeting attendees
  • Referrals to additional community safety resources

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