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Violent Crime in California Drops for the 3rd Year in a Row

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Photo: SKD's LA Street Scenes


Photo: SKD's LA Street Scenes
It wasn't just Los Angeles. The latest stats and figures from the California Department of Justice show that violent crime, once again, went down in 2009. Statewide, every category saw a decline, whether it be homicide (-8.9%), robbery (-8.6%), motor vehicle theft (-15.8%) or arson (-14.3%). State officials are pleased that this is the third year consecutive year in which violent crime (-6.6%), property crime (-10.1%), and larceny and theft (-6.5%) rates have all declined. When you put the numbers together, that's nearly 20,000 fewer violent crimes reported than in 2006.

In 1992, when crime peaked in the state, rates were double today, declining by 58.9% for violent crime, 51.7% for property crime, and 48.5% for larceny and theft. Back then there were 1.9 million arrests. Last year there were 1.4 million.

The state's most populous counties -- all in Southern California -- all recorded what state officials are calling significant crime rate declines from 2008 to 2009:

  • Los Angeles: violent crime (-9%), property crime (-11%), and larceny and theft (-3.3%)
  • San Diego: violent crime (-2.2%), property crime (-22.5%), and larceny and theft (-14.2%)
  • Orange: violent crime (-3.6%), property crime (-10.5%), and larceny and theft (-3.7%)
  • Riverside: violent crime (-13.4%), property crime (-12.4%), and larceny and theft (-11%)
  • San Bernardino: violent crime (-4.5%), property crime (-11%), and larceny and theft (-8.7%)
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"This latest drop in crime is good news for Californians and reflects well on the dedicated and courageous efforts of peace officers throughout the state," Attorney General Jerry Brown said in a statement. "Yet it is no cause for complacency. Crime remains a serious problem in California, and law enforcement officials at every level must redouble their efforts to ensure public safety."