The 2022 arrest statistics are in! Data from the Multnomah County Sheriff and booking data reveal some interesting trends.
Please note that not all arrests will lead to a conviction and therefore this data is not reliable for determining the frequency of actual crime. In addition, these records are based only on publicly available data and for various reasons may not be identical to the actual data kept by the police and sheriff.
Highlights of 2022 arrests
- Cars: The most common thing to be arrested for in Multnomah County is unauthorized use of a motor vehicle or possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Yep, car theft appears to be Portland’s biggest scourge.
- Apart from car theft, the most common Multnomah County arrests are for reckless driving. There were also 673 charges of attempting to elude police in a vehicle and 541 DUIs. Some of this probably overlaps with the car thieves, but either way it’s no wonder car insurance costs so much here…
- Parole violations: The 3rd biggest reason in 2022 for anyone being booked in Multnomah County Jails? Parole or probation violations, with 1606 total bookings. Offenders it seems, will reoffend. Is it the system, the environment, or just crooks being crooks?
- Felons with guns: 544 people were arrested for being felons in possession of a firearm. That is 1-2 people per day who are arrested for being a felon and having a firearm. Relentless criminals or lax gun laws? You decide.
- Feds At Work: 899 people were booked in Multnomah County Jails with a US Marshals hold. In addition, the Drug Enforcement Administration had 53 arrests and the Portland FBI had just 3.
- Domestic Violence: If you’re not stealing a car or driving it poorly, you are most likely to be booked in Multnomah County for domestic violence. Surprise, surprise.
- Homeless people: Felony and misdemeanor criminal mischief, trespassing, theft, and unlawful entry of motor vehicles are some of the most typical arrests in Multnomah County. Who knew?
- Drugs: Despite Portland’s reputation for drugs, very few people were arrested for drug crimes. It appears that loosening state laws has indeed trickled down to police enforcement.
- Obscure crimes: Exactly one person was arrested in 2022 for each of the following: Throwing an object over an overpass, sexual assault of an animal, unlawful possession of food fish, attempting to bribe a public official, abusing a memorial to the dead, and escaping the department of corrections.
- Age of Criminals: The oldest person booked was 87, the youngest was 17 (although younger ones would be sent to the juvenile system). However, the average age of arrestees is 31-33 years old. There are far fewer numbers of arrests of people in their early 20s. What does that say? Apparently, once you shoot your shot in your twenties and fail, that’s when desperation sets in.
- Race: Black people make up less than 6% of the population in Portland but account for 20% of all arrests. In contrast, Asians make up over 8.5% of the population but account for only 2.4% of all arrests. Whatever way you slice it, racism, poverty, or other things, Asians are much less likely to be arrested than pretty much anyone. As for white people, they are 75% of the population and 63% of arrests. For Hispanics it’s 10% population and 11% of arrests while for Native Americans it’s 0.8% population and 2.1% of arrests.
- Cops: Portland Police East Precinct is the most active police agency in Multnomah County with a plurality of all arrests over 2022. The Portland North police precinct is much less active in terms of arrests, with only 40% of the total arrests compared to the East precinct.
- Gender: 80% of people arrested in Multnomah County in 2022 were men. Ok, well we knew this wasn’t surprising, but there you go.