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State Crime Rate Records Largest Single-year Decrease in a Decade

Number of 1999 homicides less than half of 1993 peak
Wednesday, August 16, 2000
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(LOS ANGELES) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today released comprehensive crime statistics for 1999 that featured an overall decrease in the crime rate in California for the eighth straight year -- and the largest single-year decrease in a decade.

The California Department of Justice report “Crime and Delinquency in California, 1999 Advance Release” includes crimes and arrests reported by law enforcement jurisdictions in the state, and adult felony dispositions reported by police, sheriffs, prosecutors and courts.

Highlights of the report include:

* From 1998 to 1999, 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 14.9 percent in rate per 100,000 population.
* Violent crimes decreased 11.0 percent in rate from 1998 to 1999.
* Homicides decreased 9.2 percent in rate during 1999.
* Robberies decreased 14.1 percent in rate during 1999.
* Forcible rapes decreased 5.1 percent in rate, and aggravated assaults decreased 10.0 percent in rate during 1999.
* Property crimes decreased 16.8 percent in rate from 1998 to 1999, with Burglaries decreasing 18.1 percent and Motor Vehicle Theft decreasing 15.2 percent during the year.
* Overall, the arrest rate per 100,000 at risk population was down 6.5 percent from 1998 to 1999; the felony arrest for adults decreased 9.1 percent, and the felony arrest rate for juveniles dropped 12.1 percent during the same period.

“California’s falling crime rates are good news for our families and a credit to the hard work of law enforcement and prosecutors throughout the state,” Lockyer said. “While these numbers show that fewer Californians have become victims of crime, we must remain vigilant in order to ensure that crime rates don’t climb back to their record high’s in the 1980's. I look forward to working with other local, state and national leaders in our ongoing efforts to prevent crime through community policing, investment in juvenile crime prevention programs and intensified apprehension strategies using new technology, including DNA.”

Lockyer noted that the 14.9 percent decrease in rate marks the largest one-year drop in the CCI since the current reporting standards were established in the early 1950s, and that, like homicides, the number of robberies during 1999 -- 60,027 -- dropped to less than half than during 1992, when they peaked at 130,867.

The Crime and Delinquency, 1999 Advance Release is available on the Attorney General’s web site. The publication contains data reported to the Department of Justice for the calendar year 1999. It compares reported crime rates per 100,000 in population for the periods 1998 and 1999. Earlier this year, a preliminary crime report was released by the Department of Justice which summarized crimes reported by 76 jurisdictions with populations exceeding 100,000 that represent 65 percent of the state’s total population. The Advance Release includes crime data from all law enforcement jurisdictions in the state, and is the first to calculate crime rates statewide. Crime rates for each county are available upon request.

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