California Crime Rate

Every jurisdiction and state in America has been fighting to lower crime rates in the areas where they live. Many regions have been successful in this so-called war on crime; other areas have some improving to do.

California politicians and law enforcement officials are quick to claim that the crime rate in their state has been continuously going down. It turns out that this statement is mostly true, but the overall crime rate doesn’t really give the facts about specific crimes. A large drop in one crime can affect the whole crime rate, but that doesn’t mean that the rate of another crime decreased as well.

Burglary and Robbery

Burglary and robbery are two crimes that have the potential of emotionally scarring a person for life. Both of these crimes occur far more frequently than crimes like murder and rape, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t on a downward trend. California keeps records of each instance of a crime, but it is more important to go by the number of crimes committed per one hundred thousand citizens. This allows the rate to take population growth into account.

The burglary rate in California dropped by fifty percent between 1994 and 2010. The rate was 1222.5 per 100,000 residents in 1994, and it dropped all the way down to 614.3 by 2010. A similar drop occurred in robberies committed in the state. Robbery rates were more than cut in half during the same 16-year period. The robbery rate was 356.8 per 100,000 residents in 1994 and plummeted to 156 per 100,000 by the end of 2010. Regardless of the trends of other crimes during this time, robbery and burglary rates obviously helped bring down the crime rate in general.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence laws in California encompass a large spectrum of citizens. Any person who abuses a cohabitant, spouse, person they’re dating or person they’ve had a child with is guilty of domestic violence. This holds true for any person who formally had one of the aforementioned rolls.

Domestic violence is another crime that seems to have taken a steep decline. In 2000 there were around 197,000 calls to the police for domestic violence; by 2010 this number had dropped to around 166,000. In this same period of time the population of California grew by around four million people, so the domestic violence rate in the state significantly dropped.

All Violent Crimes

Crimes are listed as either violent or property offenses. Violent crimes are of course the ones that most people worry about, so knowing whether these crimes are decreasing or not is very important to California citizens. As it turns out, the violent crime rate has dropped, along with the property crime rate. The violent crime rate topped out around 1,100 per 100,000 residents in 1992. Eighteen years later that rate had dropped all the way to 440.6. This nearly one-third cut in the violent crime rate is evident with many Californian citizens feeling much safer in their cities and towns.

It would appear as if California’s war on crime has been pretty effective. The overall property and violent crime rates have been decreasing over the past few decades. The crimes that most people worry about are contributing to this substantial drop by decreasing in occurrence every year. There will likely be many politicians who try to take credit for this dramatic decrease, but the most important thing is the fact that the rate is definitely dropping. 

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