In California, Violent Crime Rises While Arrests Fall

New crime statistics reveal that in the state of California, violent crime has risen sharply while arrests have fallen, despite a decrease in violent crime nationwide.

As reported by Just The News, the newly-released FBI statistics show that, from 2021 to 2022, the rate of violent crime in California for every 100,000 people rose from 481.2 to 499.5, despite a nationwide decrease from 387 to 380.7. Meanwhile, arrests declined all over the state, falling dramatically below pre-pandemic levels.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) recorded a 60% increase in the number of stolen vehicles, rising from 34,854 in 2019 to 55,845 in 2022. The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) similarly recorded a rise from 8,863 stolen vehicles in 2019 to 13,174 in 2022.

In 2019, California saw an overall statewide total of 1,062,995 arrests. In 2022, that number plunged to just 774,729, a decrease of 27%. LAPD reported a 28% decrease in arrests over the three-year period from 2019 to 2022, from 54,060 arrests to just 38,833. The SFPD reported a similar 29% decline, from 14,337 to 10,249 in the same span of time.

The findings seem to confirm many skeptics’ claims that California’s increasingly soft-on-crime policies have done nothing to deter violent crime, and instead have ended up encouraging more of it. Experts maintain that a higher rate of arrest is one of the only methods that can bring down the rate of violent crime.

“Incapacitation suggests that an increase in the arrest rate for one crime will reduce all crime rates; deterrence predicts that an increase in the arrest rate for one crime will lead to a rise in other crimes as criminals substitute away from the first crime,” said Professor Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago. “Empirically, deterrence appears to be the more important factor, particularly for property crimes.”

Furthermore, many other rates of violent crime cannot be conclusively determined due to many big cities’ police departments – including New York and Los Angeles – adopting a new system of crime reporting, which has led to incomplete data for the year 2021. Despite plans for the new system having been announced several years in advance, numerous departments were incapable of preparing in time for the new system, resulting in 4 out of 10 departments failing to provide proper crime statistics for the FBI in 2021.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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