Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials released preliminary crime statistics Wednesday that reflect a rise in crimes reported for the unincorporated areas served by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
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The numbers also show a small drop in Part-I crimes within Santa Clarita city limits, which mirrors a Los Angeles County-wide decline in reported incidents.
“The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station is happy to report that crime within city limits is down, and deputies are working hard to lower the crime rate in the unincorporated areas we serve, as well,” said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station.
Earlier this year, Capt. Paul Becker cautioned against drawing too many conclusions from the numbers, which are still somewhat skewed by a recent population shift that has yet to be corrected in Sheriff’s Department figures, he said.
The population shift is statistically significant because, while the reported crime rate for unincorporated areas has risen significantly in the Santa Clarita Valley, by 36.5 percent, according to the Sheriff’s Department — those areas such as Val Verde and Castaic actually have seen a small decrease in the number of incidents reported, from 758 to 747, Becker said.
Within city limits, there was actually one more robbery reported year to date, 80 total, over the same time last year. That represented a 13 percent decline in the reported crime rate, however, because the city added more than 20,000 residents within its boundaries.
Burglaries in the unincorporated areas declined by slightly more than 40 percent, with 38 fewer incidents, while those figures rose by 22 percent, 187 more incidents, within city limits.
There was also a 49 percent decline in auto theft incidents, going from 198 to 208 incidents in city limits, and a 42 percent drop in county areas, going from 57 incidents to 50 incidents. The rate reflects a population shift within county and city limits, which is why the numbers went up while the percentage reflects a decline.
In a previous interview, Lt. Robert Lewis, who’s the interim captain for the Santa Clarita Station, expressed a desire to increase Crime Prevention Unit resources in the unincorporated areas.
During a presentation to the West Ranch Town Council, Lewis shared his preliminary goals to further the efforts of Capt. Paul Becker in crime prevention, which included adding resources to the unincorporated areas services by the Crime Prevention Unit.
He previously stated his intention to re-introduce the unincorporated area Zone Leader Deputy positions, such as those in Castaic (Zone 2), and Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3), that were curtailed in early 2013, he said earlier this month.
“Zone leaders add a face for residents to contact, as well an increased ability to respond to any crime trends that they may notice,” Dubin said.
Los Angeles County officials discussed increasing resources after an audit showed a one-minute discrepancy in the Sheriff’s Department’s response time to unincorporated areas of the county.
The 119-page report of details showing preliminary crime statistics for the unincorporated communities and 42 contract cities policed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department can be found at www.lasd.org.
Dubin encouraged residents to follow Nixle reports, which are put out by zone leaders, which provide weekly updates on crime trends through the Santa Clarita Valley.
To sign up for the weekly Nixle reports, click here.
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Source: Santa Clarita News