SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – Violent and property crimes increased in most Orange County cities last year, according to the FBI’s annual report released Monday.
The numbers were up in Irvine as well, though city officials released a statement touting it as the safest city of its size for the 13th consecutive year.
The number of violent crimes — murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — went from 152 in 2016 to 169 last year in Irvine, according to the FBI. The murder/manslaughter category went from two such crimes in 2016 to three last year, while rapes increased from 41 to 46; robberies went up from 52 to 55; and aggravated assaults increased from 56 to 66. Property crimes, however, decreased from 3,737 in 2016 to 3,635 last year in Irvine.
The FBI cautions against ranking cities based on the annual statistics.
“These incomplete analyses have often created misleading perceptions which adversely affect geographic entities and their residents,” the FBI said in a disclaimer on its website. “For this reason, the FBI has a long-standing policy against ranking participating law enforcement agencies on the basis of crime data alone. Despite repeated warnings against these practices, some data users continue to challenge and misunderstand this position.”
Several factors are considered in crime data, including economic conditions such as job availability, the effectiveness of law enforcement and crime reporting from citizens, according to the FBI.
Other Orange County cities experiencing upticks in crime include Aliso Viejo, which had 29 violent crimes in 2016 and 44 last year. Aggravated assaults saw the biggest increase, going from 20 to 32, but property crime decreased from 411 to 394.
Several other cities saw similar trends:
- In Anaheim, violent crimes increased from 1,209 to 1,253, but property crimes declined from 9,617 to 9,296.
- In Brea, violent crimes rose from 92 in 2016 to 114 last year.
- In Buena Park, violent crimes increased from 249 to 292 last year, and robberies were up from 78 to 96, but rapes declined from 16 to nine. In Costa Mesa, violent crimes decreased from 412 to 361 and property crimes also dipped from 4,610 to 4,298.
- In Fullerton, violent crimes dropped from 341 in 2016 to 293 last year, but property crimes rose from 3,599 to 3,952.
- In Garden Grove, violent crimes went from 545 in 2016 to 602 last year, while property crimes edged up from 4,322 to 4,348.
- In Huntington Beach, the number of violent crimes jumped from 362 in 2016 to 461 last year, while rapes jumped from 55 to 75 and robberies from 76 to 95. Property crimes declined from 4,527 to 4,285.
- In Laguna Beach, violent crimes declined from 116 in 2016 to 100 last year. Property crimes were also down — from 646 to 559.
- In La Habra, violent crimes jumped from 102 in 2016 to 137 last year, and aggravated assaults were up from 58 to 81.
- Violent crimes in Lake Forest went from 102 to 137.
- It was a similar story in Mission Viejo, which saw a jump in violent crimes from 75 in 2016 to 101 last year. Rapes nearly doubled from seven to 13.
- In Newport Beach, violent crimes rose from 110 in 2016 to 124 last year, while property crimes were down from 2,241 to 2,123.
- San Clemente saw a jump in violent crimes from 75 to 91.
- In Santa Ana, the number of violent crimes remained relatively steady, going from 1,612 in 2016 to 1,640 last year. Property crimes in the city were slightly up from 6,980 to 7,017.
- Seal Beach saw an increase in violent crimes, which went from 28 to 45, and property crimes, which went from 546 to 643.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)