LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Violent crimes in areas patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are down significantly in 2011, the Sheriff’s Department reported Monday.

Overall criminal activity has declined by more than 12.5 percent in the first nine months of 2011 compared with the same period last year.

Serious property crimes declined by 3.5 percent in sheriff’s patrol areas countywide during that period, compared to the first nine months of 2010, the department reported.

Combining both categories, overall crimes declined by about 5.4 percent, the sheriff’s department reported.

Sheriff’s stations experiencing the most significant decreases in overall violent crimes included the Santa Clarita Valley Station at 35.2 percent, Avalon Station at 30.4 percent, Malibu/Lost Hills Station at 29.7 percent, Lakewood Station at 24.8 percent, Carson Station at 24.0 percent, Norwalk Station at 21.8 percent, and Crescenta Valley Station at 21.6 percent.

There were 127 homicides through September of this year, a decrease of about 2.2 percent from the same period in 2010, when there 131 homicides, said sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker.

Most notable, Parker said, were decreases in homicides in the Carson Station, East Los Angeles and Lancaster Station areas. Carson Station homicides were reduced to three homicides through September of this year compared to six in the same period last year.

The Lancaster Station has had six homicides this year compared to eight last year.

The East Los Angeles Station has had nine homicides this year, down from 13 homicides last year. However, officials noted that the East Los Angeles Station began policing the cities of Maywood and Cudahy on July 1, 2010, so the comparisons were “unavoidably incomplete.”

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