Forcible rape and grand theft auto cases occupied much of the calendar for Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies during 2012, but homicide investigators got a bit of a reprieve.
Violent crime across the Santa Clarita Valley rose 27.7 percent during 2012 compared to 2011, according to data released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
But while the SCV’s 479 reported incidents of violent crime outnumbered the 375 reported during the unusually crime-free year of 2011, there were actually fewer violent crimes in 2012 than there were in 2007 (483) when the population was smaller.
Stated differently, the SCV’s crime rate has improved by 10.6 percent over the past five years. In 2012, roughly 18 people (17.83) per 10,000 SCV residents were victims of violent crime. In 2007, nearly 20 (19.95) of every 10,000 people were victimized.
Statistically, the biggest year-over-year improvement was in homicide, with just one incident confirmed in all of 2012, versus six in 2011. That’s a decrease of 81.8 percent.
Conversely, the biggest year-over-year increase in violent crime was in the category of forcible rape, which rose by 67.7 percent in 2012 (42 incidents versus 25 in 2011). Rape was also the only category of violent crime that hasn’t decreased over the last five years; the rate was 11.4 percent better in 2007.
Aggravated assault was up by 29.7 percent over the year (314 incidents in 2012 versus 242 in 2011), followed by robbery, up 19.5 percent (122 incidents in 2012 versus 102 in 2011).
All categories of violent crime were up over 2011 figures – and all but rape were down from 2007.
All categories of property crime were up from 2011 except for arson, which remained flat at 33 incidents.
Leading the way was grand theft auto, up 36.5 percent (386 in 2012 versus 283 in 2011). Burglaries rose 5 percent and theft was up 2.3 percent.
All categories of property crime have fallen since 2007.
Santa Clarita’s Part 1 crime rate – all violent and property crimes combined – rose 7.7 percent on the year and fell by 32.9 percent over the last five years.
The Part 1 crime rate rose by 9.7 percent in the city of Santa Clarita during 2012 and fell by 27.4 over the last five years. The unincorporated SCV did better with just a 2.8 percent increase over the year and a 43.9 percent improvement since 2007.