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Report shows crime decline in Santa Clarita Valley

FBI stats reveal small drop in local numbers, echoing national trend

Posted: June 13, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 13, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Crime, including violent offenses, is down across America, according to the latest FBI figures, and the Santa Clarita Valley is no exception.

The country saw a 4-percent drop in the number of violent crimes in 2011, and a 0.8-percent decline in the number of property crimes compared to 2010, according to the FBI’s Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report released Monday.
In compiling its report, the FBI gathered data from 14,009 law enforcement agencies, including numbers supplied by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Despite five local murders last year compared to one in 2010, violent crime in the Santa Clarita Valley dropped to 262 instances from 375 in 2010, according to the FBI.

There were 18 cases of forcible rape last year compared to 21 in 2010.  Robberies dropped to 76 from 123 and aggravated assault fell to 163 from 230 the year before.

The number of all local property crimes fell, as well — burglary, 567 cases from 574 in 2010; larceny-theft to 1,766 from 1,853 and car theft to 235 from 243.

“We’re very pleased with the report,” city of Santa Clarita spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said Tuesday. “But, it’s a work in progress.”

Assistant City Manager Ken Striplin, said: “It’s really the result of the Sheriff’s Department refocusing on aggressive policing.”

And, while pleased with the FBI numbers, Capt. Paul Becker of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said he’s worried California’s prison-realignment program will continue to drive crime numbers up.

“We’re seeing an increase in crime this year because of realignment,” Becker said Tuesday.

Hundreds of realigned inmates transferred to Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic under the program are released locally.

The state inmates are called “non-non-non” — or N3s, for short — meaning they’re sentenced for crimes considered “nonsexual, nonviolent and nonserious.”

“But, with the ‘N3s’ you typically see drug problems and this, of course, leads to stealing,” Becker said.

Local deputies arrested 29 percent of the “N3s” released locally, he said.

“We don’t know what the other 71 percent is up to. They might be completely clean or they might be out there committing crimes.”

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