Newly launched nationwide crime numbers from the FBI present that, amid an unprecedented worldwide pandemic, traits in California’s crime price final yr principally mirrored nationwide traits—with some key variations. Whereas the state’s violent crime price declined considerably in 2020, the nation noticed a rise, although homicides jumped each nationwide and within the state. In California, aggravated assaults additionally elevated, whereas robberies went down. California noticed an identical decline within the property crime price final yr because the nation general.
Right here we examine adjustments in California’s and the nation’s crime charges in 2020 whereas additionally contemplating long-term traits since 2000.
Developments in California’s violent crime price since 2000 broadly mirror traits within the nationwide price. Nevertheless, the state noticed higher declines within the first decade of 2000, and in 2020 the state noticed a drop in violent crime whereas the nation general skilled a rise of about 5%. Right this moment, whereas the state’s violent crime price remains to be above the nationwide price, the hole has dropped by half, from about 20% increased in California to 10% increased. Each California’s and the nation’s violent crime charges at the moment are roughly the place they have been a decade in the past.
California’s traditionally giant and troubling 30% bounce in homicides matches the nationwide enhance. This enhance within the variety of homicides is the biggest since dependable report maintaining started in 1960. Wanting on the previous twenty years, the state’s murder price dropped under the nation’s for the primary time in 2015 and continues to stay under the nationwide price. In 2020, California’s price is 11% under what it was in 2000 (down from 6.1 homicides per 100,000 residents to five.4), whereas the nationwide price is up by about 18% (from 5.5 to six.5).
California’s 9% drop within the property crime price in 2020 is simply barely higher than the nationwide decline of 8%. Whereas California’s property crime price is now considerably under what it was in 2000, down by 32%, that is lower than the nationwide drop of about 50%. This is because of statewide will increase in 2012 and 2015, whereas the nation has seen drops yearly since 2001. Consequently, since 2015, California’s property crime price has been about 6% increased than the nationwide price.
Since 2000, California has applied many legal justice reforms. No analysis to this point has linked any of those reforms to adjustments in violent crime, however they’ve been discovered to be contributing elements to coinciding momentary will increase in auto theft and larceny.
Whereas the dramatic will increase in homicides and gun-related violent crime in 2020 are troubling, the state fares comparatively effectively after we examine traits in violent crime charges from 2000 to 2020. Nevertheless, the pandemic introduced broad adjustments and challenges to our society and our legal justice programs, together with policing, courts, and correctional programs. Monitoring crime traits and understanding the underlying elements driving crime charges proceed to be of nice significance.