SEATTLE -

 A report shows that Seattle police have backed off arrests in recent years for low-level crimes and infractions observed by officers.

The police department report for the Seattle Community Police Commission was released Wednesday with figures comparing 2005 and 2013. It shows that the number of non-traffic misdemeanor crimes filed in Seattle Municipal Court dropped 49 percent. The number of suspicious people questioned by officers on their own initiative in the first quarter of the year dropped 80 percent.

The Seattle Times reports the reason for the decline is unclear but it comes while the department is under federal scrutiny over its use of force and the city attorney's office changed charging standards to put less emphasis on misdemeanors.

City officials deny a practice of deliberate "de-policing."