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Attorney General Bill Lockyer Releases Crime In California Report
(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today released the “Crime in California, 2004" report showing a 5.2 percent decrease in the violent crime rate and an 0.9 percent increase in the property crime rate compared to 2003. All major crime categories including arson decreased, except motor vehicle theft which increased 2.7 percent and larceny-theft over $400 which remained the same as last year.
The report includes data on crimes and arrests reported by all law enforcement jurisdictions throughout the state and adult felony dispositions reported by police, sheriffs, prosecutors and courts.
“I am pleased to see another year of decreases in violent crime, which directly reflects the tremendous efforts of every law enforcement agency throughout the state,” Lockyer said. “The safety of all Californians remains a top priority for me and the Department of Justice will continue to work with the law enforcement community to provide the tools necessary to ensure that our goals are met.”
The violent crime rate saw repeated increases from 1984 to 1992, when it peaked at 1,103.9 per 100,000 population. Since 1992, the rate has seen annual decreases, dropping a total of 51.1 percent, including a 5.2 percent decrease from 2003 to 2004. The 2004 rate of 539.6 crimes reported per 100,000 population is the lowest since 1972.
Other violent crime rate highlights include:
• Homicide (1.2 percent of violent crimes) decreased 3.0 percent.
• Forcible rape (4.9 percent of violent crimes) decreased 5.1 percent.
• Robbery (31.2 percent of violent crimes) decreased 4.9 percent.
• Aggravated assault (62.7 percent of violent crimes) decreased 5.5 percent.
Since 1983, the property crime rate has fluctuated, with a peak of 3,332.4 per 100,000 population seen in 1989. The rate declined each year between 1990 and 1999, with the exception of a slight increase in 1991, before reaching a low of 1,649.8 per 100,000 population in 1999. The rate has seen annual increases since that time, including a 0.9 percent increase from 2003 to 2004. Larceny-theft over $400 was added to the property crime category in 2003 to give a more representative depiction of crime in California and to correlate more closely to the national crime index established by the FBI.
More property crime rate highlights include:
• Burglary (34.4 percent of property crimes) decreased 0.1 percent.
• Motor vehicle theft (35.3 percent of property crimes) increased 2.7 percent.
• Larceny-theft over $400 (30.3 percent of property crimes) remained the same.
The report shows almost no change in the rate of adults arrested between 2003 and 2004 and an 0.8 percent rate decrease in juvenile arrests for the same time period. In the past five years, adult arrest rates have decreased 5.4 percent and juvenile arrest rates have declined 26.8 percent.
The full “Crime in California, 2004" report can be viewed on the Attorney General’s website at http://ag.ca.gov/cjsc/publications/candd/cd04/preface.pdf.