California Crime Ticks Up in 2012; But at Historic Lows

Jul 27, 2013 1:02 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - State officials report that violent crimes slightly increased in California last year, but that crime rates remain at historic lows.

The annual "Crime in California" report released Friday shows that there were 160,629 violent crimes in 2012, nearly 3 percent more than the 155,313 violent crimes in 2011.

The report emphasized that despite the uptick, the 2012 rates remain at half their levels 20 years ago. That reduction comes despite California's population growing by more than 6 million people since 1992.

The yearly report is compiled by the California Department of Justice and is based on data from police and sheriff's departments in all of the state's 58 counties.

Statewide homicides, forcible rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all ticked up in 2012 compared with 2011 levels. The same holds true for total numbers of burglary, automobile theft and larceny.

Violent crimes increased by less than 3 percent from 2011, marking a rare instance of year-to-year violent crime rates jumping since the level of offenses began receding from its peak two decades ago.

The total number of violent crimes has steadily declined since its 1992 apex, rising in 2000 and 2006 before descending again.

Arrest numbers decreased slightly between 2011 and 2012, falling by about 30,000. Driving that was a drop in juvenile arrests. While the number of adults arrested remained essentially static, actually increasing by 143, the state witnessed 28,743 fewer arrests of juveniles.

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