State's Homicide Rate Drops to 44-Year Low

State crime stats are just numbers, but tell a very interesting story when studied.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, May 24, 2011  |  Updated 2:40 PM PDT
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The new numbers show a decrease in a long list of crimes.

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California's new Attorney General Kamala Harris had some good news to report Tuesday.

Her office released new figures that show the homicide rate in California has reached its lowest level since 1966.

Harris was quick to give credit to officers on the streets.

"The decline in homicides and other violent crimes reflects the tireless efforts of our peace officers," Harris said.

The new stats were compiled from 89 agencies across the state and showed overall the number of violent crimes declined 6-percent in 2010.

Specific crime stats:

  • forcible rape declined 6-percent
  • robbery dropped 9-perent
  • aggravated assault fell 4.6-percent
  • property crimes declined 2-percent
  • burglary dropped .9-percent
  • motor vehicle theft declined 7-percent
  • arson dropped 15-percent


The AG press release noted one troubling figure concerning gangs. The number of gang-related homicides between 2008 and 2009 increased 18-percent and gangs were a contributing factor in nearly 40-percent of all homicides in California.

Also worth noting:

  • the stats show that majority of homicide victims were killed by friends or relatives. Fewer than 30-percent were killed by strangers, according to the report. 
  • Hispanics were homicide victims far more often than any other group, accounting for 46-percent of all homicides in 2009.
  • when it comes to homicide suspects, 90-percent were male and men were victims of homicide 82-percent of the time
  • females were more likely killed in their home, while men were more likely killing on the street
  • Monterey County had the highest homicide rate per population and Napa County had the lowest

You can get all of these stats, plus a deeper dive into the data at this link. 

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