Crime statistics for the Santa Clarita Valley have been released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department with the majority of categories seeing a rise in crime rates in 2009.
Within Santa Clarita city limits one of the most notable increases was seen in burglaries, where they increased at a rate of 10.8 percent when compared to 2008 numbers, moving from 632 incidents 705.
Another area of increase was seen in arson cases where the city saw a 52 percent rise in 2009.
The statistics covered the City of Santa Clarita as well as the unincorporated areas surrounding the city, all of which the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station patrols.
Despite the upsurge in some crime stats, the Sheriff’s department noted significant reductions in violent gang-related crime in 2009.
According to statistics released by the Sheriff’s department, gang-related robberies were down 38 percent, assaults were down 32 percent, assaults with firearms were down 50 percent and there were no gang-related homicides.
These decreases in gang related crimes are attributed to an “aggressive gang suppression campaign.”
The station’s Detective Bureau, COBRA Unit and Community Interaction Team (CIT) teamed up with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Probation Department to carry out operations aimed at breaking up the six active gangs in the Santa Clarita Valley.
While the number of total burglaries increased last year, Sheriff’s, working with their CIT and the countywide Community Oriented Policing Services team, were able to reduce burglaries by 6 percent near the end of the year.
These teams conducted more than 70 covert burglary suppression and saturation operations in neighborhoods throughout Santa Clarita.
One thing the Sheriff’s are monitoring closely is the population reduction efforts made by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where a law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger calls for the early release of prisoners to ease over crowding in prisons.
“We are gearing up to meet this new anticipated challenge,” said Captain Anthony La Berge, in his Captain’s Message publication
Santa Clarita residents are encouraged to report non-emergency crime tips anonymously at SCVSheriff.com or (661) 284-2-TIP.