Santa Ana saw a drop of more than 50 percent in murders in 2011; some of the county’s smallest cities saw an increase in property crimes.
By SALVADOR HERNANDEZ / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Violent crime continued to drop in most of Orange County in 2011, but some cities saw an increase in burglaries, larceny and auto thefts, according to statistics released Monday by the FBI.
Reports of violent crimes – such as murder, rape, robbery and assault – fell 3.8 percent across the nation last year, the fifth straight year violent crime has declined in the U.S., according to the FBI. In Orange County, crime in some of the largest cities held true to that trend.
Violent crimes –such as murder, rape, robbery and assault – fell 3.8 percent across the nation last year, the fifth straight year it has declined in the U.S., according to the FBI. In Orange County, crime in some of the largest cities held true to that trend.
Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach and Westminster each saw a drop in violent crimes in 2011, according to the statistics. But the most significant decrease appeared to be in the county’s second-largest city, Santa Ana, where violent crimes fell 13 percent in the year. Reports of rape, robbery and aggravated assault fell across the board in the city in 2011 compared to the previous year.
According to the statistics, there were 13 reported murders in Santa Ana last year – less than half the number reported in 2010.
In Anaheim, however, both property and violent crime increased.
The county’s most populous city saw an increase of 10 percent in violent crime last year, largely driven by an increase in aggravated assaults, the numbers show. There were 715 aggravated assaults reported in Anaheim in 2011, a spike of 20 percent compared to 2010.
Nationally, violent and property crime has been in a downward slide for nearly half a dozen years. Violent crime has decreased for five consecutive years in the U.S., while property crime has been falling for nine years.
That trend has been mirrored in California, where violent crime fell about 6 percent in 2011.
But in some of Orange County’s smaller cities, property crime increased in 2011, according to the FBI report.
In cities with a population of fewer than 100,000 people – such as Cypress, Yorba Linda, Seal Beach, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Dana Point, La Palma, La Habra, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel and Laguna Woods – property crime went up in 2011.
Irvine, which has been unofficially dubbed the nation’s safest city with a population of more than 100,000, violent crime remained steady in 2011. Property crime, however, saw a significant increase: a 17 percent rise that year.
According to the FBI, the master-planned city saw more burglaries and thefts in 2011 than in 2010.
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