Reports: California homicide rate rises by 31% amid pandemic, vehicle thefts rise 20%


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — New reports from the California Policy Lab says the rate of homicides statewide has risen 31% during the pandemic.

The reports, which analyzed data from 437 cities on violent and property crimes between 2019 and 2020, also showed a 20% increase in vehicle thefts. Aggravated assault also rose 8.8%.

However, the reports revealed downward trends in other crimes, including declines in rape (-8.1%), robbery (-13.8%), burglary (-3.7%) and larceny (-14.9%).

“The overall violent crime rate in California increased only slightly between 2019 and 2020, while the violent crime rate in the rest of the US increased by a larger margin. However, when you look at specific crime types within the violent crime category, there were some diverging trends,” said Steve Raphael, a public policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley who co-authored the reports.

The reports say while the rise in homicide and aggravated assault in California generally reflects national trends, the increase in motor vehicle theft is notably higher throughout the state compared to the rest of the country.

According to the reports, California’s crime rates have declined over the last 30 years and continue to remain historically low.

To read the reports in full, click or tap here.

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