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Attorney General Lockyer Releases Statewide Crime Statistics

California's overall 1998 crime rate down for seventh straight year.
Tuesday, June 29, 1999
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(Long Beach) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today released comprehensive crime statistics for 1998 and announced that the overall crime rate in California decreased for the seventh consecutive year.

The California Department of Justice "Crime and Delinquency, 1998 Advance Release" report includes crimes and arrests reported by all law enforcement jurisdictions in the state, and adult felony dispositions reported by police, sheriffs, prosecutors and courts.

Highlights of the report include:

* From 1997 to 1998, the California Crime Index, or CCI, which includes reported violent crimes of homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, and property crimes of burglary and motor vehicle theft, decreased 13.0 percent in rate per 100,000 population.

* Violent crimes decreased 12.2 percent in rate from 1997 to 1998.

* Homicides and robberies both decreased more than 16 percent in rate during 1998.

* Property crimes decreased 13.4 percent in rate from 1997 to 1998.

* Overall, the arrest rate per 100,000 at risk population was down 1.1 percent from 1997 to 1998; the felony arrest for adults decreased 5.1 percent, and the felony arrest rate for juveniles dropped 6.6 percent during the same period.

Lockyer released the report during a speech to the California District Attorneys' Association at their Summer Conference in Long Beach, California.

"The fact that California's crime rate continues to fall is encouraging news after the recent school shootings in Colorado and Georgia," Lockyer said. "I believe a number of factors have contributed to the falling crime rates, including tougher penalties for criminals enacted during recent years, expansion of community policing programs and California's flourishing economy."

In light of the positive statistical trends of the past decade, Lockyer cautioned that now was not the time to become complacent in the fight against crime, the effort to reduce gun violence and the campaign to improve prevention programs if we are to ensure continued success.

"Each day in this country an average of 13 children are killed by gun violence in homicides, suicides or unintentional shootings," Lockyer said. "It is more important than ever to identify at-risk youth earlier and intervene in their lives before violence can erupt. By helping our troubled kids today we can prevent them from becoming the criminals of tomorrow."

The Crime and Delinquency, 1998 Advance Release is available on the Attorney General's website at http://caag.state.ca.us/cjsc. The publication contains data reported to the Department of Justice for the calendar year 1998. It compares reported crime rates per 100,000 in population for the periods 1997 and 1998. Earlier this year, a preliminary crime report was released by the Department of Justice which summarized crime rates for the 76 jurisdictions with a population of 100,000 or more that represent 65 percent of the state's total population. The Advance Release includes crime data from all law enforcement jurisdictions in the state.

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