Violent crime in the Santa Clarita Valley has risen 39.5 percent so far in 2012 compared to the same period last year, according to data released Friday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The biggest increases have come in forcible rapes, which nearly doubled to 19 as of July 31, and in aggravated assaults, which rose by 48.8 percent to 195 reported incidents so far in 2012.
Santa Clarita is bucking the trend; across all of Los Angeles County, violent crime is up just 4.91 percent over 2011 levels, and countywide rape cases are dead even with last year.
Locally, most of the increase in rape cases has come in the unincorporated areas of the Santa Clarita Valley. By July 31 of 2011, only one forcible rape had been reported in the unincorporated SCV. Through the same period this year there were eight. That’s a statistical increase of 690.9 percent, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Robbery is up 14.5 percent across the SCV so far this year, with 72 cases.
The one bright spot in the violent crime data is in criminal homicide. There haven’t been any murders in the SCV so far this year, compared to one by this time last year.
Serious crimes, aka property crimes, have risen more slowly than violent crimes. They’re up 7.2 percent, led by grand theft auto (up 22.6 percent) and burglary (up 9 percent). Larceny is up 5.1 percent, while arson has actually fallen by 13.4 percent, with 19 cases compared to 22 a year earlier.
Meshed together, all violent and property crimes – aka Part 1 crimes – are up 10.2 percent through July 31. This month the unincorporated SCV overtook the city as the place where crime is rising faster (up 10 percent in the city, 10.8 percent in the unincorporated areas). Through most of 2012, major crimes were rising faster in the city than in the county.