Homicide, Hate, and Theft: The Latest Snapshot of Crime in California

The California Department of Justice has released a series of reports on crime in California. The latest data is a mixed bag, with progress being made in some areas and troubling new trends emerging in others.

According to the DOJ, California’s violent crime rate per 100,000 increased 1.5 percent in 2017. The property crime rate decreased 2.1 percent. Robberies and vehicle thefts were up while burglaries were down. Disturbingly, arson and rape rates rose 10.7 percent and 6.9 percent respectively.

Cannabis legalization also had a significant impact on crime statistics in California. Marijuana arrests decreased by 56 percent in 2017. Marijuana felony arrests were down 74 percent. 

Hate crimes were also a pressing issue for California last year. Hate crime events increased from 931 in 2016 to 1,093 in 2017 (17.5 percent).

The following counties saw the largest number of hate crime events in 2017:

  1. Los Angeles (419)
  2. San Diego (95)
  3. Alameda (86)
  4. Santa Clara (57)
  5. San Francisco (47)

Another DOJ report specifically looked at California’s homicide rate. It found a 5.2 decrease statewide. Kern County had the highest rate of homicide rates per capita.

Read all three state reports, plus another report on juvenile justice, here