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Attorney General Lockyer Releases 1999 California Crime Statistics

Number of Crimes in 1999 Declined 13.2 Percent Compared to Year Earlier
Wednesday, March 29, 2000
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(Irvine) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced that preliminary figures show the number of crimes in the most populous cities and counties in California dropped by 13.2 percent during 1999 when compared to 1998.

"There is good reason to appreciate the efforts of California law enforcement and celebrate the continuing decrease in crime, but it's certainly no cause for complacency," Lockyer said. "We must continue to fight for more and better prevention plans that work, and that will steer our young people away from delinquency and crime careers. We must also invest in apprehension plans that work, such as DNA technology, to make sure that lawbreakers know they are a lot more likely to get caught than to get away with crime."

The preliminary report, "Crime In Selected California Jurisdictions, January through December 1999," compares crime counts for six major offense categories during 1998 and 1999 for 76 jurisdictions with populations of 100,000 or more. These jurisdictions represent about 65 percent of the state's population. Within these jurisdictions, crimes tracked by the California Crime Index dropped 13.2 percent, with all categories showing declines:

- Homicides decreased 5.2 percent;
- Forcible Rapes decreased 4.8 percent;
- Robberies decreased 12.2 percent;
- Aggravated Assaults decreased 7.4 percent;
- Burglaries decreased 18.4 percent; and
- Motor Vehicle Thefts decreased 12.4 percent.

Lockyer cited several factors that have contributed to the decrease in crime, including: tough sentencing laws, innovative crime prevention programs and techniques, improvements in technology essential to crime fighting and analysis of evidence, the booming economy and record low unemployment. Attorney General Lockyer released the 1999 preliminary report during a meeting with law enforcement officials from Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The preliminary report, which includes crime statistics for each individual law enforcement agency and contract city with a population of more than 100,000, is available on the Attorney General's web site at http://caag.state.ca.us/cjsc.

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