Author: E. Bovee
2016 FBI Crime Statistics Published
FBI has released its 2016 crime stats, including reported crimes by state, by city.
This will be the same exercise as last year: I compile these stats, normalize them per 100K and publish them each year. For comparison, you can check against 2015 stats found here: http://www.santamierda.com/…/10/28/the-weekly-dump-10-28-16/
I started doing this in 2007, and presented Santa Cruz’s alarming crime data to city leaders.
From 2008-2012, I met with mayors, city council members, law enforcement leadership on their request to support analysis of the data and help discuss solutions. Without exception, city leaders denied, obfuscated and/or pointed fingers, and I could find almost no one dedicated to changing Santa Cruz’s dismal public safety situation. A little background on the original project here: http://takebacksantacruz.org/santa-cruz-is-a-very-dangerou…/
Eventually, I took the data to The Sentinel, and found support from Don Miller and Jason Hoppin, who wrote this excellent article based on shared research. http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/…/…/20130406/NEWS/130408129
Here is how I break down the reported crime data
I compare Santa Cruz ONLY to cities with 30K population and above (with lower populations, there is a lot of statistical noise: a single, large bar fight can raise the violent crime rate per capita in a small city of 7,000 significantly in a single year, for example.) For apples-to-apples comparison, I stick to the 242 cities in California that have above 30,000 population.
In 2016 there is bad news, and there is worse news.
Crime rates in SC have not fallen. (Overall crime was nearly flat, rising only .2% from 2015, which is maybe good news in comparison to the 2014-2015 6% rise). The worse news is that Santa Cruz is number 2 in the state in overall reported crime rate. Oakland is number 1. For comparison, Stockton and Bakersfield are 9 and 11, respectively. Fresno is 21, Compton is 41, and cities like Sacramento and Los Angeles are 37 and 77 respectively.
Santa Cruz ranks among the top in the state for crime, and sits in company with chronically impoverished and blighted communities. BUT Santa Cruz does NOT share their demographics.
Santa Cruz is almost UNIQUE in having high levels of education, high relative incomes, property values, etc., with the crime levels consistently GREATER than one sees in a Bakersfield, Compton or Fresno. Something has gone UNIQUELY wrong in Santa Cruz that has happened almost nowhere else. Community leaders who point out Santa Cruz’s tourism, student population, or other factors should consider that Santa Cruz shares MANY characteristics with other cities: San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and is almost demographically identical to Petaluma and Davis. And Santa Cruz has rates of crime many times higher than these places.
Here is where Santa Cruz sits in 2016 reported crime categories among 242 cities in California 30K population and above
• Violent crime – 9th
• Murder – 43rd
• Forcible Rape – 11th
• Robbery – 46th
• Aggravated Assault – 8th
• Property Crime – 3rd
• Burglary – 73rd
• Larceny/Theft – 1st
• Motor Vehicle Theft – 52nd
• Arson – 70th
• Overall Reported Crime – 2nd
SANTA CRUZ IS 2nd in the state of California in overall reported crime and in the top 5% statewide for its rate of violent crime, rape, property crime, larceny theft.
WHATEVER IS BEING DONE TO ADDRESS SANTA CRUZ’S DISMAL PUBLIC SAFETY SITUATION, IT IS HAVING NO EFFECT, YEAR AFTER YEAR, ON THE ACTUAL CRIME NUMBERS.
Despite discussion and hand waving by city leaders, the activity of citizens’ groups, neighborhood groups, whatever it might be, the crime numbers aren’t moving down – AT ALL