The future of policing in major cities across California has garnered national attention throughout the pandemic. Incidents like mass thefts at high-end stores across state have drawn widespread coverage and left business owners feeling like the law is failing them. Now, with local and state leaders pledging to target these types of crimes and increase police presence in affected areas, the debate over rising crime rates in California has become a hot topic in many circles. In this blog, we take a look at the statistics and discuss which types of crimes actually increased in 2021.
Property Crimes & Homicides
According to preliminary data collected by the Public Policy Institute of California, property and violent crimes increased in 2021 in major cities like Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco. In particular, homicides in these cities increased by 17% in 2021, while property crime rose nearly 7% compared to the first ten months of 2020.
Comparing data from January–October 2020 with the same period in 2021, violent crimes increased by 5%. Although there were more reported crimes for homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, roughly three-fourths of the overall increase in violent crimes were from aggravated assaults, which saw an overall 4% increase.
There were 20,000 reported property crimes per month in early 2021, increasing to 25,000 by October. The increase in property crime during 2021 was mostly driven by car break-ins and auto thefts. Car break-ins increased by 21% by October 2021 and vehicle theft increased by 10% during that same time. It is important to note that burglaries decreased by about 5%.
It is also important to note that while the statistics are disconcerting, the overall rate of reported violent and property crimes has since returned to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, property crime reached historic low in 2020, and violent crime was relatively low too, reaching similar to levels not seen since the late 1960s.
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