Portland Crime Data
Crime in Portland Oregon: Historical Perspective

While Portland, Oregon, like many other U.S. cities, has seen significant reductions in crimes reported to police over the past three decades, these remarkable changes aren't widely recognized. Surveys show (see reports below) that 90 percent of Oregonians believe that crime in the state has increased or remained the same.

Why is the drop in reported crime largely unknown to the public? Survey data show that public perceptions about the prevalence of crime and personal risk for victimization are influenced by many factors, including news media coverage, ideology, educational achievement, and socioeconomics. For example, in Portland nine out of 10 residents surveyed watch local TV news or read the local newspapers. Local news organizations continue to devote a significant proportion of their coverage to crime stories, suggesting to the public that crime remains as common now as it was in the past.

Failure to recognize this historic decrease in crime has the potential to negatively impact communities' physical, psychological, social, and economic health, as well as to undermine public confidence in law enforcement. Additionally, development of effective criminal justice policies requires an accurate account of crime; an understanding of how crime rates have changed over time; and the identification of temporal and geographic hotspots that indicate where and when crime is more likely to occur.

To address these concerns, the Portland Police Bureau is exploring new methods of providing to the community accurate and accessible crime and public safety data. As part of this effort, the Bureau established a formal partnership with Portland State University’s Criminal Justice Policy Research Institute and Criminology & Criminal Justice program. The resulting Crime Analysis Team seeks to address gaps in public knowledge about crime in Portland, through detailed analysis of temporal and geographic patterns in local crime.

This website presents the team's findings, and will be updated every year to ensure that timely crime information is available to community, the media, and policymakers. Go to the Offenses page to begin learning more about crime in Portland.

Information on crime prevalence, media coverage and public perception from the Criminal Justice Policy Research Institute:

Public Perceptions Regarding the Use of Force by Police in Portland, Oregon, September 2012

Oregonians Nearly Unanimous in Support of Reentry Services for Former Prisoners, August 2012

Crime in the News: How do People Feel About Crime Reporting in Portland, Oregon?, July 2012

Exposure to Local News Media and Perceived Safety in Portland Oregon, July 2012

Oregonians Report Broad Support for Policies that Could Reduce Prison Population, April 2011

Do Oregonians Know About the Crime Drop?, February 2011