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County: SCV crime down 36.2%

Crime: Released statistics show drop over the last five years in the Santa Clarita Valley

Posted: July 26, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 26, 2011 1:57 a.m.
 

County crime statistics released Monday show a steady drop in almost all crimes inside the Santa Clarita Valley over the last five years.

The latest figures released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department show a 43.3 percent drop in violent crimes locally since 2006, and a 35.5 percent drop in property crimes for the same period.

The only crime showing an increase locally is arson.

The figures were calculated per 10,000 people in the population to allow for growth in the valley.
Capt. Paul Becker of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station credits a local crackdown on drugs and a stepped-up effort in
the area of crime prevention as key during the most recent year of reduced local crime.

“Last year, we had — in the city of Santa Clarita — the lowest crime rate since the city was incorporated in 1987,” Becker said Monday.

Violent crimes down
Local reports of violent crimes — identified in the Sheriff’s Department survey as criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — dropped 43.2 percent in the last year alone.

With only one homicide happening in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past year, local law enforcement can report a 76.5 percent drop in homicides compared to five years ago.

Similarly, six reports of forcible rape means a 70.3 percent reduction in that crime since 2006.

Robbery and aggravated assault dropped by 46.6 percent and 37.6 percent, respectively, over the five-year period.

Burglary, theft down
Burglaries have dropped 35 percent since 2006, according to the latest statistics.

Other property crimes, including larceny theft and grand theft auto, have also dropped in the last five years by 32.5 percent and 54.6 percent, respectively.

Arson up
Only arson, as a property crime, has seen an increase locally by 24.1 percent over the five-year period.

Eighteen arsons were reported to the department in the last year, compared to 13 incidents reported in both 2006 and 2010.

At least two arson cases over the past year were minor in nature, Becker said, involving a trash-can fire and a mobile sign set on fire.

 “A lot of it has to do with our crime-prevention unit looking at every crime that’s occurring,” Becker said of the past year’s decline in crime.

Real-time monitoring of crime, made possible in part by equipment donated by the city of Santa Clarita, allows deputies to “get on” crimes right away, he said.

“We’ve also come down very heavy on narcotics, focusing heavily on narcotic addicts, looking at the types of crimes addicts are doing such as burglaries,” Becker said.

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