By Leon Worden/SCVNEWS.com
Santa Clarita again posted the biggest year-over-year decline in violent crime in November, according to figures released late Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
A total of 347 violent crimes were reported to the SCV Sheriff’s Station through Nov. 30, compared to 523 during the first 11 months of 2010.
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Violent crimes include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Santa Clarita’s violent crime rate, expressed in crimes per 10,000 population, fell 33.7 percent to 12.91 per 10,000 from last year’s 19.46 per 10,000.
Santa Clarita’s improvement outpaced runner-up Malibu, where the year-over-year violent crime rate fell 27.6 percent.
However, Malibu far outdistanced Santa Clarita for the biggest five-year violent crime rate drop.
Malibu’s crime rate has fallen 51.7 percent since 2006, compared to 31.3 percent since 2006 in Santa Clarita. (Malibu has seen just 6.17 violent crimes per 10,000 population so far this year.)
Improvement Since 2006
Santa Clarita’s 31.3 percent five-year violent crime rate drop put it in the middle of the pack. In addition to Malibu, the following sheriff’s stations posted bigger 5-year improvements: Cerritos (down 50.6 percent), Walnut (42.3 percent) Avalon (40.3 percent), Lakewood (38.2 percent), Industry (34.7 percent), Lancaster (34.7 percent), Carson (33.3 percent), Compton (32.8 percent) and Crescenta Valley (31.9 percent).
Of those, only three stations are in Santa Clarita’s ballpark in terms of violent crimes per 10,000 population: Crescenta Valley (11.1), Walnut (12.07) and Cerritos (13.87).
The rest have markedly more violent crime incidents. For instance, while Compton and Lancaster have made bigger percentage improvements over five years, they still have seen 102.26 and 49.53 violent crimes per 10,000 population this year, respectively. Tiny Avalon has reported 43.95 violent crimes per 10,000 population in 2011 – mostly aggravated assaults.
Compared to 2010, Santa Clarita posted sharp declines in all categories of violent crime except homicide. With six homicides reported through Nov. 30, Santa Clarita has seen twice as many murders as last year.
However, rape is down 35.7 percent on the year in Santa Clarita; robbery is down 31.3 percent and aggravated assault is down 35.7 percent.
Property crimes include burglary, larceny, grand theft auto and arson. Santa Clarita has shown improvement in all categories except arson, which is up 15 percent compared to last year. (But Santa Clarita’s 5-year arson rate is down 26.8 percent.)
Santa Clarita is at the low end of the spectrum for property crime with 121.14 per 10,000 population, mostly theft, so far this year.
Santa Clarita’s 8.9 percent year-over-year decline in property crimes is steeper than most but not as good as some.
Averaged together, Santa Clarita’s violent and property crime rate (the “Part 1” crime rate) is down 12.1 percent on the year – fifth best out of 23 reporting stations. Through Nov. 30 this year, 3,602 Part 1 crimes were reported in the SCV versus 4,097 for the same period in 2010.
Best overall in terms of a year-over-year Part 1 crime percentage drop is Avalon, where property crimes have fallen 33.8 percent for a combined improvement of 31 percent.
Altadena, San Dimas and South L.A. also saw steeper declines than Santa Clarita in overall Part 1 crime – although South L.A.’s crime rate is still on the order of Compton’s.