Violent crime is up 44.5 percent across the Santa Clarita Valley so far this year, according to data released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
That’s actually better than last month’s figure, when the year-to-date rise in crime for the first four months measured 51 percent.
The first five months of 2012 – Jan. 1 to May 31 – saw 198 violent crimes, versus just 137 for the same period in 2011.
The Santa Clarita Valley hasn’t witnessed any homicides in 2012, but forcible rape is up 142.3 percent, with 17 reported incidents this year compared to 7 through May 2011.
Property crime is up as well: 6.4 percent higher than last year, led by grand theft auto, which is up 20 percent.
Property crimes in the SCV during the first five months of 2012 numbered 1,526, compared to 1,434 during the first five months of 2011.
Averaged together, violent crimes and property crimes – aka “major” or “Part 1” crimes – totaled 1,724 through May 31, an increase of 9.7 percent.
Out of the sheriff’s 23 reporting areas, the violent crime rate in the Santa Clarita Valley has risen faster than anywhere else except Carson and Marina del Rey.
Nonetheless, the Santa Clarita Valley still enjoys one of the lowest violent crime rates in the county, with 7.37 violent crimes per 10,000 population so far this year.
The SCV also has a comparably low rate of property crimes, with 56.79 per 10,000 population through May 31.
As is typically the case, the SCV’s Part 1 crime rate has risen faster in the city of Santa Clarita than in the valley’s unincorporated regions. Through May 31, Part 1 crimes are up 13.4 percent in the city and 0.5 percent in the unincorporated SCV.
Despite the increases, crime was higher locally five years ago. Compared to 2007, Part 1 crimes are down 28.9 percent in the city and 48.2 percent in the unincorporated SCV.