Preliminary crime statistics show decrease in crime


Photo by Donna Ritchie

The FBI will publish final crime data for 2017 later this year. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has released preliminary crime statistics for calendar year 2017, indicating an overall decrease of 2.2 percent in all reported FBI Part I crimes. Violent crime decreased by 8.8 percent in the Sheriff’s areas in both unincorporated areas and cities. Property crimes were also down 1.6 percent in those same areas. overall crime in the Sheriff’s areas saw a decrease with the exception of a slight increase in the larceny-theft category (0.4 percent ) in 2017.

Homicides decreased sharply by 31.7 percent in 2017. The number of rapes decreased by 3.3 percent. Robberies decreased by 5.5 percent, while aggravated assaults saw a 10.3 percent decrease from 2016 to 2017.  Burglaries decreased by 1.6 percent and vehicle thefts noted an 8.7 percent reduction in 2017.

Within only the unincorporated areas of Riverside County, all Part I crime is down 0.1 percent, while violent crime is down 7.8 percent. Property crime (burglaries, auto thefts and felony thefts) slightly increased 0.7 percent in 2017.

The preliminary crime statistics show larceny-theft decreased by 1.1 percent in 2017.  Burglaries increased by 0.9 percent and vehicle thefts increase of 6.3 percent. The experts in the field of vehicle theft attribute this increase in the unincorporated areas to theft of construction equipment and recreational vehicles.

In addition, all-terrain vehicles and trailers have also been a target of theft. The Riverside Auto-Theft Interdiction Detail would like to remind the public to take a few additional steps to lessen the likelihood of being a victim by placing additional identifying markers on your recreational vehicles and trailers and using an alarm or anti-theft device on your vehicle to deter vehicle theft.

The largest decrease in the unincorporated area was discovered in homicides which decreased by 42.9 percent. Following suit was a decrease of 14.3 percent in rapes in 2017.  Robberies also decreased by 9 percent.

Aggravated assaults dropped by 5.2 percent. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department attributes the decrease in aggravated assaults to domestic violence incident. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has a long history of collaboration with all responsive agencies when it comes to the application of domestic violence resources.  The investigative  bureaus across the county have designated Domestic Violence Threat Management (DVTM) trained investigators focusing on reviewing domestic violence reports to identify training or follow-up needs, identifying subjects likely to commit repeated acts of domestic violence, participating in multi-agency collaborative countywide threat management teams, handling high-profile or threat management domestic violence incidents and mentoring deputies to improve initial and follow-up domestic violence investigations.  All of this is focused on supporting the victim, stopping the behavior and breaking the cycle of violence.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department continues to seek grant funding to support this emphasis and works closely with the Family Justice Courts, the District Attorney and their Victim Witness advocates, and support organizations such as ‘Shelter from the Storm’ and the ‘Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center’ to assist with restraining orders, group sessions, safety plans and individual victim needs such as food and gas vouchers, along with several other Crime Victim Assistance programs.

Looking at only the Sheriff’s contract law enforcement city partners combined, violent crime decreased more than 9 percent, property crimes decreased 2.2 percent and overall FBI Part I crimes decreased by 2.8 percent, resulting in decreased criminal activity across the board.

The Sheriff’s contract policing services provides each of its 17 community partners with a flexible menu of services and each city is able to control its police staffing levels along with their focus to suit their respective community. The Sheriff’s local commanders serve as city police chiefs for each city manager and are just as responsive as any other city department head. This responsiveness encourages considerable initiative, collaboration, and creativity in dealing with local crime challenges in each of those partner cities.

The Sheriff serves a population of nearly 1 million within the 17 cities that contract for police services and another 400,000 in the unincorporated area of the county outside of those cities.