By Leon Worden, SCVTV.com
Violent crime in the Santa Clarita Valley has increased 32.2 percent so far in 2012 compared to last year, according to data Wednesday from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
That’s the third-fastest rate of growth among the sheriff’s 23 reporting areas. Only Cerritos (up 46.5 percent) and Carson (32.5 percent) have seen bigger spikes this year.
The increase in forcible rape continues to drive the growth, as it has done all year. Rape is up 73.2 percent, with 26 reported incidents through Sept. 30, versus 15 as of the same date in 2011.
Aggravated assualt across the Santa Clarita Valley is up 34.5 percent year-over-year, with 242 reported incidents in 2012 versus 180 a year earlier. Robbery is up 27.5 percent (102 incidents versus 80).
Rounding out the violent crime statistics are homicides, which have improved. None has occured in the SCV during 2012, compared to five during the first nine months of 2011.
Property crimes – burglary, larceny, auto theft, arson – are up 7.2 percent, led by grand theft auto, up 17.3 percent.
No crime category except homcide is down, although arsons are even at 28 incidents through Sept. 30.
Part 1 crimes – all violent and property crimes, combined – are up 9.6 percent in the SCV.
Countywide, the figures show Part 1 crimes have increased by 4.15 percent, with a 4.29-percent increase in violent crimes and 4.12 percent more property crimes.
Within the Santa Clarita Valley, Part 1 crimes have increased by 11.43 percent in the city of Santa Clarita and 4.96 percent in the unincorporated SCV.
Rapes are up 50 percent in the city (18 versus 12) and 171.88 percent in the unincorporated SCV (8 versus 3) compared to 2011.
The five-year figures are better.
Compared to 2007, Part 1 crimes are down 34.9 percent in the SCV and down 16.89 percent in the county so far in 2012.