State’s 1998 Crime Rate Continues 7-Year Decline

<i> Associated Press</i>

California’s crime rate dropped in 1998 for the seventh consecutive year.

A study released Tuesday by the state attorney general’s office expanded on a preliminary report in February that showed major crimes in California’s largest cities dropped 12% last year.

The new report includes major crimes reported by all law enforcement jurisdictions in the state. It showed the overall crime rate for 1998 dropped 13% per 100,000 population from the previous year.

The decline covered six categories--homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and vehicle theft.


The rate dropped 16.7% for homicide, 5.5% for forcible rape, 16.9% for robbery, 10.1% for aggravated assault, 11.5% for burglary and 15.9% for vehicle theft.

“I believe a number of factors have contributed to the falling crime rates, including tougher penalties for criminals enacted during recent years, expansion of community policing programs, and California’s flourishing economy,” Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer said.

Lockyer released the report at a meeting of the California District Attorneys’ Assn. in Long Beach.