Violent crime shot up 44.6 percent across the Santa Clarita Valley during the first half of 2012 compared to the first half of last year, led by a 157.7 percent increase in forcible rapes.
Averaged together, all violent and property crimes were up 12.8 percent during the first half of 2012.
By comparison, for all of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s service areas, violent crime rose just 4.66 percent and Part 1 (violent and property) crimes rose just 6.02 percent.
While Santa Clarita might be trying to catch up quickly, the streets of Santa Clarita are still safer than the county average.
Out of every 10,000 people, 8.82 Santa Clarita Valley residents were victims of violent crime during the first half of 2012, compared to 22.67 Los Angeles County residents.
Similarly, Part 1 crimes per 10,000 population numbered 69.41 in Santa Clarita and 99.38 percent across all county sheriff service areas.
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich blamed the countywide increase on Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison realignment legislation, which has seen convicted felons transfered to counties that don’t have enough jail space to hold them.
“The District Attorney was right when he predicted that there would be a spike in crime as a result of the governor’s irresponsible realignment program,” Antonovich said in a statement. “This law needs to be changed. Our cities and counties are being victimized by it.”
In the SCV, forcible rape has shown the biggest increase in 2012, followed by aggravated assault (up 44.5 percent) and robbery (up 30.7 percent). At the other end of the spectrum, the arson rate was flat at 18 during the first six months of the year, while homicides were reduced from 1 by this time last year to none so far in 2012.
Within the Santa Clarita Valley, the county unincorporated areas were safer than the city. In the city – which has seen Part 1 crimes rise 13.8 percent year-over-year – 86.94 out of every 10,000 people were victims during the first six months of 2012. In the county-SCV, where the rate went up 10.28 percent, just 61.59 of every 10,000 people were victims.