Monday, May 21 , 2018, 1:53 pm | Partly Cloudy 66º


Overall Crime in Unincorporated Santa Barbara County Dips in 2010

But Sheriff's Department statistics show that violent crime continues to rise

Unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County had a 5 percent drop in reports of Part 1 crimes — considered the more serious violent or property crimes — in 2010 compared with 2009, but the unincorporated areas also saw an increase in violent crimes, such as homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Part 1 crimes include homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft over $400, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Isla Vista continues to be the area with the largest amount of crime, accounting for 34 percent of Part 1 crimes in the unincorporated areas, compared with the second-highest percentage of 24 percent in the area served by the Santa Maria substation.

In Goleta, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department’s largest contract city, most of the numbers remained flat; however, there was an increase in reported forcible rapes and larceny-theft over $400. Those increases are largely responsible for an overall 11 percent rise in the reporting of Part 1 crimes for incorporated Goleta.

“Crime statistics can be an effective tool for identifying trouble spots and trends that need to be addressed,” Sheriff Bill Brown said. “This is especially important as we search for ways to patrol the streets and keep offenders in jail in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis, which is leading to our fourth and most challenging year of budget cuts.

“This year is especially important when looking at multiyear statistical trends. With new rules for what constitutes a felony theft now in place, this is the last time we’ll be able to look at a comparable five-year trend until we complete another five-year statistical cycle.”

Next year, the number of reported larceny-thefts as a Part 1 crime is expected to drop significantly because of a new state law (Assembly Bill 2372). The law that took effect Jan. 1 will only categorize larceny-thefts as Part 1 crimes when the value of the stolen item(s) is more than $950, which more than doubles the previous threshold of $400.

Click here to view the 2010 Part 1 crime statistics for the areas serviced by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department.

[Note: It is important to understand that these statistics only represent the unincorporated area of the county and the cities that contract with the Sheriff’s Department for police services, i.e. they do not include the cities of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Lompoc or Guadalupe.]

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.


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