Violent crime continued to drop in Laguna Beach last year, annual crime statistics show.
The crime category that includes homicide, manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault dropped 9.6%, from 62 in 2011 to 56 in 2012, according to the annual crime report released by the Laguna Beach Police Department.
Only one homicide was recorded. That happened in late October, when Mike Brown is suspected to have shot and killed his wife, Mendy, their dog and then himself.
There was no change in the number of reported rapes – there were six each in 2011 and in 2012.
Aggravated assault, however, dropped 16% from 50 to 42 year over year.
The violent crimes appear to be on the decline. The data show a 21% decrease when 2012 offenses are compared with a five-year average.
Property crimes also appear largely on the decline. Also of note: Forcible rape was stagnant at six for both 2011 and 2012 and aggravated assault dropped to 42 in 2012 compared to 50 in 2011.
Meanwhile, crimes against property also declined last year. Burglary, larceny, vehicle theft and arson dropped 9.4% to 551 from 608.
Narcotic- and weapons-related offenses rose 6% from 363 to 387.
But drunken-driving arrests declined 3.5% to 623 from 645 , according to the report.
“This is mainly due to efforts under the Office of Traffic Safety — DUI grant,” according to a press release. “Elimination of the ongoing threat to public safety by drinking drivers remains a priority of the Police Department. Officers are encouraged to maintain a high enforcement profile for this particular crime.”
Also of note, Animal Services saw a decrease in enforcement activities due to animal licensing issues in 2012.
“The licensing program was destroyed during the flood of December 2010, and all of the data recovered off the damaged hard drive was then re-entered into the new software program. As of Jan. 1, 2013, the new dog licensing program has been launched and all the previous data has been entered and verified in the system,” the department’s press release noted.
The police department also said animal adoptions significantly increased in 2012, with both dogs and cats showing 100% adoption increases from the previous five year averages.
The complete report can be viewed at lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/police/default.asp.