California is seeing record declines in violent and property crimes. Statistics from the FBI and the California Department of Justice indicate that violent crime is at a 46-year low – as low as it was in 1967.
The data is significant because California has seen substantial population growth since the late 1960s. The population growth has been particularly concentrated in sprawling urban areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Many smaller centers, such as the South Coast, which includes Ventura, Orange, and San Diego Counties, have also seen intense population growth. Despite the development and industrialization of many cities, the statistics show that California is steadily becoming a safer place to live.
California’s Declining Violent Crime Rate
The term “violent crime” is applied to the offenses of homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The term “property crime” is applied to the offenses of burglary, auto theft, and larceny theft.
California’s violent crime rate of 422 per 100,000 residents is higher than the national rate of 387. Yet, the trend is a decrease in violent crime. Between 1960 and 1980, the state’s violent crime rate increased from 239 to 894 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. That was a 274% rise. The peak was 1,120 in 1992.
Of the violent crimes that occurred in 2013, only 1% were homicides. Most of the crimes (59%) were aggravated assaults, which involve the use of a deadly weapon. 35% of the violent crimes were robberies. Only 5% were rapes.
The lowest rates of violent crime in Southern California were in the South Coast. There were over 10% decreases in violent crime rates in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties.
37 of California’s 58 counties saw decreases in property crime rates between 2012 and 2013. There was a 10% drop in Orange County’s crime rate. The South Coast also saw a low rate of auto theft: 281 per 100,000 residents.
What Do These Numbers Mean?
California’s long-term decline in violent and property crime rates indicates the state has the power to discourage and control criminal offenders. Despite economic turbulence, an unstable housing market and the spread of gangs in more rural and urban areas, California has made great strides in reducing crime rates.
The state has used preventive measures such as drug rehabilitation and punitive measures such as incarceration to assist in lowering the crime rate. The aging of the state’s population has also been a stabilizing factor.
What Wallin & Klarich Can Do For You
If you have been accused of a crime, you need to speak to a Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney soon as possible. Our goal is to prove your innocence. Our attorneys have been successfully representing our clients in criminal cases for over 30 years. We can help you now.
It is particularly important that you mitigate an accusation of a violent or property crime. Convictions for such crimes result in jail time and can also prevent you from getting a job, housing, or arguing for your rights in a custody battle or divorce. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you get the best possible outcome in your case.
Our offices are located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville. We can be there for you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.