The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is releasing 2016 Part 1 and Part 2 Crime numbers that indicate violent crime and property crime has increased from 2015 numbers.

The jurisdictional areas are all of the unincorporated areas served by the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the contract cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta and Solvang.

The statistics show 2016 reported Part 1 Crimes increased overall by 2 percent. In 2016, there were 2,882 Part 1 Crimes reported compared to 2,818 reported in 2015.

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 348 reported violent crime incidents in 2016 compared to 337 in 2015. There were four homicides in 2016 as opposed to two in 2015.

Forcible rape reports went up to 56 in 2016 from 40 in 2015. The main reason for the increase is there were 23 forcible rape reports in Isla Vista in 2016, as opposed to 13 in 2015.

The Sheriff’s Office is aware of this concerning increase and is working with Isla Vista stakeholders, specifically the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center and the Isla Vista Safe Committee, on a sexual assault awareness and risk reduction campaign.  

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 increased to 2,534 cases in 2016 from 2,481 in 2015. While burglaries were down 8 percent, the increase in Part 1 Property Crime is partly attributed to an increase in reported larceny-thefts which increased by 7 percent.

The greatest increase was in thefts reported from automobiles and buildings. Reports of bicycle thefts and pickpocketing also increased.

Arson, on the other hand, decreased 46 percent while motor vehicle theft decreased 5 percent.

While there was a 2-percent decrease in Part 1 Crime in the unincorporated areas, there was an increase in the contract cities: the City of Buellton (48 percent increase), the City of Carpinteria (19 percent increase), the City of Goleta (5 percent) and the City of Solvang (1 percent). 

The increase in all of the jurisdictions can partly be contributed to the increase in the number of thefts from automobiles. Countywide, there was a 15-percent increase in thefts from automobiles and that number is reflected in the contract city statistics.  

While the data shows an increase in Part 1 Crimes, Part 2 Crimes decreased 11 percent countywide.

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 2016, there were 9,695 Part 2 Crimes reported compared to 10,858 in 2015. The biggest decreases were in relation to curfew and loitering, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, embezzlement and fraud.

Even though the overall Part 2 Crime rate was down, there was an increase in the number of violations involving drugs, weapons and prostitution. 

The Sheriff’s Office jurisdictions that saw decreases in Part 2 crimes were the unincorporated areas (13 percent decrease), the City of Carpinteria (11 percent decrease), the City of Buellton (4 percent decrease) and the City of Goleta (3 percent decrease).

The City of Solvang saw a 7 percent increase largely due to an increase in the number of disorderly conduct, forgery/counterfeit and liquor law violations.

Even though Santa Barbara County continues to enjoy a generally low crime rate, the Sheriff’s Office is concerned about the uptick in crime.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said, “It is important for law enforcement and the community to remain vigilant and do all that we can to prevent crime and continue our resolute fight against those crimes that are committed.  The men and women of the Sheriff’s Office will continue our community policing strategy of working with the people we serve to address the problems of crime, fear of crime, neighborhood decay and quality of life issues.”

Kelly Hoover is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.