Newly released statistics from the Santa Barbara Police Department show a significant drop in crime last year. According to the Deputy Police Chief - who reported the finalized crime data to the Santa Barbara City Council earlier this month - crime fell across all indexes. They also stated 2014 was the safest year on record in Santa Barbara in the last five years.
Here are some of the 2014 crime statistics:
- Violent crimes - including rape, robbery, homicide, and aggravated assault - fell by 13 percent. Authorities reported 377 violent crimes in 2014 compared to 435 in in 2013.
- Only one homicide was reported in the city of Santa Barbara last year. The accused individual will stand trial this year for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend to death.
- Robberies fell 30 percent from 2013, and 45 percent from 2012.
- Aggravated assaults decreased by 9 percent from 2013.
- Property crimes in the city fell by 18 percent, including residential burglaries and auto theft.
Officials are crediting local law enforcement, aggressive criminal impact teams, and better oversight of parolees and probationers to the drop in crime. The statistics are reassuring to local lawmakers, especially after prison reform and realignment transitioned many offenders from state prisons to county jails or supervised release. Authorities stressed the importance of parolee and probationer oversight, and pledged to continue their efforts.
Annual crime statistics are important to law enforcement because they serve as objective proof of their efforts. Authorities in Santa Barbara will likely continue their aggressive enforcement and will certainly place property crimes and DUIs at the top of their list, among other offenses. As such, individuals who are arrested under suspicion of committing crimes can expect vigorous prosecution and harsh penalties.
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about protecting the rights, freedoms, and futures of clients charged with crimes. If you or someone you know have questions about a case, contact our firm for a free and confidential case evaluation. We serve clients throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura County, and Southern California.