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Santa Ana Saw A 183% Rise In Shootings Between 2013 And 2016

(Photo via Santa Ana Police Department/Facebook)
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Santa Ana, the second largest city in Orange County, saw a 183% rise in shootings between 2013 and 2016, according to analysis by the Santa Ana Police Department, reports the Orange County Register.

For the first 50 days of 2016, and then again in May and June, more than one shooting a day was reported for the city of about 335,000 residents. In total, 292 shootings were reported for the year. What's more, homicides rose 93% in the city between 2015 and 2016.

Similar rises in crime have been reported in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, 2016 saw a 46% increase in robberies over 2015, while violent crime rose 38% in the same period.

And though violent crime (both locally and nationwide) may be experiencing an uptick over a larger timeline, rates have been dropping since the early 1990s. According to Pew, "Using the FBI numbers, the [violent crime] rate fell 50% between 1993 and 2015, the most recent full year available. Using the BJS data, the rate fell by 77% during that span."

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“Shootings fluctuate, crime fluctuates, it’s cyclical,” Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas said, notes the Register. He further noted that crime tracking dipped in 2013 when the department worked to restructure its tracking methods. “It was a mess. That was during the period when we stopped doing the report because we were trying to figure out how to track it accurately.”

But not all city leaders agree with Rojas. “I think it’s obvious that in 2016, there was a spike in shootings and a spike in violent crime,” said Santa Ana City Councilman Jose Solorio.

According to the Register, city leaders and academics alike believe the spike in crime resulted from new laws releasing low-level criminals, increased gang warfare, and a city budget still reeling from the recession.

LAist reached out to the SAPD as well as Councilman Jose Solorio for comment, but has not heard back by publication of this article.