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Crime trends down

Posted: March 10, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 10, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Fewer crimes were reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in January and February than last year, according to data released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The crime data released Wednesday continues to show that the local crime rate has been dropping during the previous 14 months, following regional and national trends.

Through February 2011, 581 serious crimes, including robbery, rape, assault and burglary, have been reported, compared to 759 serious crimes reported during the same time last year. That’s 178 fewer crimes.

Overall, there were 35 fewer violent crimes reported this year compared to last, and 143 fewer property crimes, according to the data.

The city of Santa Clarita enjoyed the lowest crime rate in its 23-year history in 2010 after its crime rate dropped 12 percent from 2009.

Meanwhile, incidents of violent crime have decreased by 11.7 percent in sheriff’s patrol areas throughout Los Angeles County during the fist two months of 2011, according to a statement.

Overall, serious crime throughout Los Angeles County has decreased by 7.98 percent when compared to the first two months last year.

Criminologists are still trying to understand why crime rates in major cities are dropping.

Crime rates began dropping in 2009 during the Great Recession, challenging a long held belief that crime increases when the economy is in decline.

The Sheriff’s Station has introduced several new programs in the last year to address crime in the SCV.

Among these is the Juvenile Intervention Team, which has made 150 drug-related arrests since its inception in July, according to a separate statement from Capt. Paul Becker released Wednesday.

“Although we realized a significant reduction in crime in 2010 in Santa Clarita, it is my responsibility as the chief of police to ensure that we maintain public safety as a priority into 2011 and beyond,” Becker said. “It is imperative that I continuously evaluate programs and my staff’s effectiveness in driving crime rates to their lowest possible levels.”

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