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Attorney General Bill Lockyer Releases Latest 2001 California Crime Statistics

During 2001, Number of Crimes Increased 5.8 Percent in State's Largest Cities and Counties
Monday, March 25, 2002
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(Los Angeles) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced that preliminary figures show crime in the state's most populous cities and counties increased 5.8 percent overall during 2001. This increase comes after crime fell by more than 49 percent over the last decade.

From January through December, 2001, the largest California law enforcement agencies reported that, compared to 2000, the number of violent crimes increased by 1.7 percent, and property crimes increased 8.2 percent. Increases were reported for the number of homicides (9.2 percent), robberies (7.2 percent), burglaries (4.9 percent) and motor vehicle thefts (11.9 percent) while the number of forcible rapes dropped slightly and aggravated assaults dropped 0.7 percent.

"While crime remains at a 30-year low in California, it is never good news when there is a year-to-year increase," Lockyer said. "If we are going to be successful in further driving down crime, we need to implement crime prevention programs that work, including expanded after-school programs, getting guns out of the hands of criminals and using DNA science to find and convict criminals. And we must continue to support the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line to protect ours."

Earlier this month, Attorney General Lockyer sponsored a statewide conference to analyze why crime decreased in the 1990's and develop proposals for future success in a forum entitled, "Violence and Crime in California: From Evidence to Policy." Nationally renowned attendees debated a variety of explanations for California's recent crime decreases, including a decline in the use of crack cocaine, the three strikes law and a rebounding economy. All agreed, however, that state and local law enforcement cannot tackle the state's violence and crime problems alone. They need the assistance and cooperation of local communities, organizations and public health groups.

The preliminary report, "Crime 2001 in Selected California Jurisdictions, January through December," examines the number of major crimes reported in 75 cities and unincorporated areas of counties with populations of 100,000 or more, and is not adjusted to account for increases in population. These cities and county jurisdictions report about 65% of the state's crime. The report is available on the Attorney General's web site at http://ag.ca.gov/cjsc/publications/preliminarys/jd01/rpt.pdf.

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