The violent crime rate in 2019 was 6.4% lower than the year prior for communities policed by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, while property crimes and the overall crime rate was up slightly from a year ago.
According to the 2019 crime statistics released Wednesday, the violent crime rate was 28% lower than the 10-year average. A 2.8% increase in property crimes caused the overall crime rate to increase by 1.6% compared to 2018, though the overall rate was still 15% lower than the 10-year average.
Sheriff Bill Brown said the continued stability of the long-term declines in the local crime rates can be credited to the collaborative efforts occurring both within the local communities and throughout the criminal justice system in Santa Barbara County. The Sheriff’s Office provides policing services for the cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta and Solvang.
“Within Santa Barbara County, our law enforcement, prosecutors, public defenders and the courts are all working together to improve public safety within our communities.” Sheriff Brown said in a statement.
“We are continuing our work to reduce criminal recidivism by offering important rehabilitative programming to inmates in our jail. Our efforts are also greatly enhanced through collaboration with other county departments and many community-based organizations. Together we are working to enhance the safety and wellbeing of Santa Barbara County.”
The Sheriff’s Office compiles information about crimes that have occurred and submits them for inclusion within the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. The crimes are broken down into two major categories: Part 1 crimes and Part 2 crimes.
Part 1 crimes are considered the most serious in nature, while Part 2 crimes include lesser criminal offenses and some juvenile-status offenses. Part 1 crimes are further broken down into two subcategories: violent crimes and property crimes, according to authorities.
Part 1 violent crimes include offenses that involve force or a threat of force, including criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravtated assault. Part 1 property crimes are theft-related offenses that do not involve threats or force, such as burglary, larceny theft and motor vehicle theft.
Compared to the 2018 statistics, Part 1 violent crimes were down 6.4%, with the most significant reductions occurring in rape cases (50% drop). Part 1 property crimes were 1.6% higher, including a 4.8% increase in theft, authorities said.
Part 2 crimes were down slightly, 0.3%, compared to 2018, though analysis showed that some Part 2 crimes increased and some decreased. Part 2 crime categories that declined over the past year included: fraud (down 28%); disorderly conduct (down 71%); vandalism (down 7%); public drunkenness (down 6%); and weapons violations (down 9%). Part 2 crimes that experienced increases were: liquor law violations (up 13%); and DUI (up 9%).
The Sheriff’s Office reported a decrease in juvenile status offenses over the previous year.
Here is a breakdown of the 2019 Part 1 crime rates by jurisdiction compared to 2018:
- Unincorporated areas overall: 1% increase
- 1% increase in violent crime
- 1% increase in property crime
- Buellton: no change in overall crime
- No changes in violent crime or property crime
- Carpinteria: 27% overall decline
- 48% decline in violent crime
- 25% decline in property crime
- Goleta: 16% overall increase
- 25% decline in violent crime
- 21% increase in property crime
- Solvang: 18% overall increase
- 25% increase in violent crime (only two additional crimes reported)
- 17% increase in property crime