Violent crime across the Santa Clarita Valley is up 31.7 percent through August, compared to the first eight months of 2011 – but you know what Mark Twain said about statistics.
Earlier this year, data from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department showed violent crime in the SCV rose nearly 50 percent in the first few months of 2012. Last month’s data showed violent crime rose 39.5 percent from January to July, compared to January-July of 2011.
Now, with the addition of August, the year-over-year increase in violent crime is “only” 31.7 percent.
In other words, there’s been much more violent crime in SCV this year than last year, but it’s not increasing as rapidly as it was earlier this year.
Measured over five years, it has actually declined by 14.7 percent.
Through Aug. 31, 2012, there were 319 reported violent crimes in the SCV – or 11.87 per 10,000 population.
Five years ago, from January to August 2007, there were 337 – or 13.92 per 10,000 residents.
Forcible rape is still the SCV’s fastest-growing crime category of 2012. It’s up 65.4 percent, with 23 incidents reported through August, versus 14 by this time one year ago.
Conversely, compared to the first eight months of 2007, rape in the SCV is down 16.5 percent.
Aggravated assault is up 34.4 percent over the year, and robbery is up 24.9 percent.
Factored together, all “Part 1” crimes – meaning all violent crimes and serious property crimes – are up 9.4 percent across the SCV compared to 2011.
One bright spot among property crime is in the category of arson, which has fallen 25 percent over the year.
Homicides are lower, too. There weren’t any in the SCV from January to August. There were 3 by this time last year, and five to date in 2007.
On the down side, among the Sheriff’s Department’s 23 reporting areas, only Cerritos and Carson have seen a greater increase than Santa Clarita in violent crime through August.