Attorney General Lockyer Releases Report Showing Statewide Decrease In Violent And Property Crime Statistics For First Nine Months Of 2004

Decreases in Robbery, Forcible Rape and Aggravated Assaults Contributed to Violent Crime Reduction

Friday, January 7, 2005
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced violent crime in the state’s largest cities dropped 5.3 percent and property crimes decreased 0.2 percent the first nine months of 2004 when compared to the same period in 2003.

“Crime in 2004, January through September,” compares preliminary crime counts for the first nine months of 2004 with final counts for the same period in 2003 as reported by California law enforcement agencies serving populations of 100,000 or more. The reported number of violent crimes dropped by 5,528 incidents from the same period in 2003. Decreases were reported for three of the violent crime categories: forcible rape (down 1.4 percent), robbery (down 6.1 percent), and aggravated assault (down 5.3 percent). The reported number of homicides increased by 47 incidents (3.8 percent).

“This report is significant because this is the first time since 2000 that a periodic report has shown a decline in property crimes,” Lockyer said. “I am encouraged by the continued overall crime decreases in California, and am confident that law enforcement will turn around the increase in homicides.”

There were 525 fewer property crimes reported during the first nine months of 2004, compared to the same period in 2003. Most of the decrease was driven by an 0.7 percent decline in larceny-theft over $400. Burglary inched down by 0.1 percent while motor vehicle theft increased by 0.2 percent.

“The significant declines in overall crime demonstrate the hard work exhibited daily by our law enforcement officers,” Lockyer said. “This reduction in crime is a direct result of their commitment to protect public safety.”

The preliminary report is based on crime figures reported by police and sheriff’s departments that provide law enforcement protection for 79 of the state’s largest jurisdictions. These jurisdictions account for approximately 65 percent of the crimes reported in California.

Crime rates per population are not used in this report, but are included in the comprehensive annual “Crime in California” publication, which will be released later this year. Fourth-quarter data for 2004 will be available mid-April for the 79 largest jurisdictions. The preliminary report is available on the Attorney General's web site at http://ag.ca.gov/cjsc/publications/ninemorpt/js04/rpt.pdf.

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