In 2015, the number of violent crimes in California rose by 10%. Although the overall crime rate remained lowest in the decade, the number of crimes in California rose after a steady two years of decline.
According to a report released by the state attorney general’s office, the number of violent crimes was up in all major categories of violent crimes when compared to 2014. For example, the number of aggravated assault and robbery cases increased by more than 8%, whereas the number of homicides increased 9.7%. The number of hate crimes in California also followed the same trend, showing an increase of 10.4%. Many of these cases involved religious bias, with anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim incidents on the rise along with incidents against Latinos.
The number of total property crimes climbed by 8.1%. The number of motor vehicle thefts also showed an increase. However, the number of burglaries dropped.
Despite an increase in the number of violent crimes, the number of overall violent and property crime rates were lower per 100,000 last year than those recorded in 2010. The number of overall violent and property crime rates remained drastically lower than the peak crime rates recorded in the 1980s and 1990s.
Statistics show that more than 4,000 people were murdered in 1993, whereas the number decreased to 1,861 people murdered statewide in 2015.
Similarly, the number of homicides recorded across California in 2009 reduced below 2,000 for the first time since 1974. The number has remained below that number since.
A breakdown of the number of homicides recorded in 2015 are given below:
Nearly 83% of victims in homicide cases were male. A large percentage of these victims were killed by friends and acquaintances, which was recorded at 47%. Additionally, 15% of victims were killed by their spouse, parent, or child, whereas approximately 31% of the victims were killed by strangers. More women were murdered by their spouse, as compared to men.
A large portion of homicide victims were Latino, which constituted 43% of cases. This was followed by 28.4% black, followed by 21.3% white victims. Approximately 29% of homicide cases were gang-related.
70% of these homicide cases involved the use of firearms.
The highest homicide rate was recorded in Monterey County at 13.8 homicide cases per 100,000. The lowest homicide rates were recorded in Imperial, Placer and San Luis Obispo counties. 592 people were killed in Los Angeles County in 2015 alone, whereas 57 people were slain in Orange County.
The number of rape cases recorded statewide also increased significantly. The number of cases recorded in 2015 jumped to 12,793. This spike was due to the result of an expansion in the rape category to include both male and female victims. The expansion also included all forms of sexual penetration.
According to statistics released by the Los Angeles Police Department at the end of 2015, all categories of crime rose across the city. 280 homicide cases were reported in 2015, which is an increase of 10.2% from 2014.