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Posted on April 29, 2014 | 10:07 a.m.

Santa Barbara County Crime Stats Show Violent, Property Crimes Down in 2013

Source: Kelly Hoover for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is releasing 2013 Part 1 crime numbers, which indicate violent and property crimes have both decreased from 2012 numbers.

The statistics show 2013 reported Part 1 crimes decreased overall by 6 percent. In 2013, there were 2,962 Part 1 crimes reported compared with 3,158 reported in 2012. Part 1 crimes are the most serious types of crime and can be either violent or property-related offenses.

Part 1 violent crimes are crimes that involve force or threat of force. The four violent crime offenses are criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. There were 333 reported violent crime incidents in 2013 compared with 348 in 2012 and down from 400 in 2010. The reduction in overall violent crime is partly attributed to a lower number of reported aggravated assaults with a decrease from 259 incidents in 2012 to 234 cases in 2013.

Part 1 property crimes are theft-type offenses where the object of the offense is the taking of the money or property, but there is no threat or force against the victim. These offenses are burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft.

The number of reported property crimes decreased from 2,810 in 2012 to 2,605 in 2013. The reduction in Part 1 property crime is partly attributed to a decrease in reported larceny-thefts, which declined from 1,941 reported cases in 2012 to 1,772 in 2013; and motor vehicle thefts, which decreased from 78 cases in 2012 to 51 in 2013.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department jurisdictions include the county’s unincorporated areas and the contract cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta and Solvang. The jurisdictional areas with decreases in reported Part 1 crimes include the unincorporated areas (3 percent decrease), the City of Buellton (30 percent decrease), the City of Carpinteria (12 percent decrease) and the City of Goleta (13 percent decrease). The City of Solvang had a 13 percent increase largely due to a higher number of reported burglaries. (There were 15 burglaries in 2012 and 21 in 2013.)

While the data shows a reduction in Part 1 crimes, there was a 2 percent increase in reported Part 2 crimes for 2013. Part 2 crimes include the categories of forgery, fraud, embezzlement, possession of stolen property, weapons violations, simple assaults, vandalism, prostitution, offenses against family/children and sex offenses. Drug- and alcohol-related incidents, as well as vagrancy, curfew violations and loitering, are also included in Part 2 crimes.

In 2013, there were 10,012 Part 2 crimes reported compared with 9,830 in 2012. The largest increase in Part 2 crimes was in the area of fraud, which increased by 28 percent, from 98 reported cases in 2012 to 125 in 2013. The number of drug-related incidents increased by 7 percent with 837 cases in 2013 compared with 732 in 2012.

The Sheriff’s Department jurisdictions that saw decreases in Part 2 crimes were the City of Carpinteria (11 percent decrease), the City of Goleta (8 percent decrease) and the City of Solvang (12 percent decrease). The areas with increases in Part 2 crimes were the unincorporated areas (6 percent increase) and the City of Buellton (2 percent increase).

For reporting purposes, crimes in Isla Vista are included in the overall counts for the county’s unincorporated areas. In 2013, Isla Vista had a 9 percent decrease in reported Part 1 crimes and a 13 percent increase in Part 2 crimes. The increase included a 43 percent increase in liquor law violations, 18 percent increase in public drunkenness violations and a 9 percent increase in drug-related cases. These increases are indicative of enhanced enforcement efforts undertaken by the Isla Vista Foot Patrol.

Santa Barbara County continues to enjoy a generally low crime rate. Part 1 crimes are down 45 percent from what they were 30 years ago. In 1984, there were 5,346 reported Part 1 crimes compared with 2,962 in 2013.

Click here for more historical details on Part 1 crimes by jurisdictional area.

— Kelly Hoover is a public information specialist for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

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