Attorney General Lockyer Releases Report Showing California's Violent Crime Rate Dropped In 2004

Overall Rate For Homicide, Rape And Other Crimes Drops 5.2 Percent

Thursday, June 30, 2005
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today released statewide crime statistics for 2004 that show the overall violent crime rate fell 5.2 percent from the 2003 level.

“This report tells a good law enforcement story,” said Lockyer. “Despite budget deficits and limited resources, our communities and families are safer from violent crime. To make more progress, we must continue developing and providing to our law enforcement personnel technologically advanced, cost-effective crime fighting tools.”

“Crime in California, 2004: Advance Release,” published by the California Department of Justice (DOJ), provides information about crime rates, arrests, and adult felony arrest dispositions. The crime rate is defined as the number of crimes reported to law enforcement agencies per 100,000 residents.

The overall rate for measured violent crimes, the report shows, decreased by 5.2 percent from 2003 to 2004. For specific violent crimes, according to the report, the homicide rate declined by three percent, forcible rape by 5.1 percent, robbery by 4.9 percent and aggravated assault by 5.5 percent. The homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault rates all declined for the second straight year.

The overall property crime rate in 2004 increased just 0.9 percent from 2003, the report shows. The rates for specific property crimes in 2004 compared to 2003, according to the report, include: burglary, 0.1 percent decrease; motor vehicle theft, 2.7 percent increase; larceny-theft exceeding $400, no change; larceny theft $400 and under, 2.7 percent decrease. Meanwhile, the 2004 arson rate decreased by 9.2 percent.

The report also puts the 2004 crime rates in historical context. The violent crime rate last year was 51.1 percent below the peak reached in 1992. The property crime rate in 2004, meanwhile, was 41.6 percent below the peak rate in 1989.

“Crime in California, 2004: Advance Release” is available on the Attorney General’s website at http://ag.ca.gov/cjsc/publications/advrelease/ad/ad04/ad04.pdf .

The DOJ publishes the report annually to provide data submitted by criminal justice agencies. In addition, the report contains summarized crime data for each county and information on statewide felony arrest dispositions.

A more extensive report, “Crime in California, 2004,” will be published later this year.

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