Crime in San Mateo County has fallen in nearly all categories -- a trend that is playing out throughout the state.
The annual Crime in California report released by the state Department of Justice Friday shows that the crime rate in every category of violent or property offense decreased in California in 2010.
In total, the violent crime rate decreased 6.9 percent, reaching its lowest level since 1968, and homicide and forcible rape rates are the lowest since 1966.
The number of juvenile felony arrests has decreased by 11.2 percent in the past year, which shows that crime prevention programs are succeeding, said Attorney General Kamala Harris.
"Adolescents involved in crime are at a greater risk of becoming offenders and victims as adults," Harris said in a press statement.
In most categories, the statewide trends hold true for San Mateo County. In actual numbers, homicide has edged up slightly, and the actual number of forcible rapes remains constant (percentages may show a proportionate drop due to an increase in population).
The biggest drops have been in robbery and arson. Robbery across the county has fallen by nearly 20 percent, arson by 24 percent and violent crime overall by more than 14 percent.
The Crime in California report is compiled by the California Department of Justice and is based on data reported by police and sheriff's departments in all of California's 58 counties.
Its findings include these:
- Arrests for dangerous drugs including methamphetamine, phencyclidine and barbiturates have spiked for the first time in five years -- a 12.2 percent increase over last year – while arrests for narcotics, marijuana and other drug offenses continued to decline.
- Statewide, homicide has dropped by 7.8 percent, and robbery by 10 percent.
- Since peaking in 1989, the motor vehicle theft rate has slid by a whopping 62 percent.
- Arrests for all types of property offenses have fallen for three years running, including burglary, theft, and forgery.
The report presents an overview of the state's criminal justice system through statistics for reported crimes, arrests and dispositions of adult felony arrests, and includes the number of law enforcement officers killed or assaulted.
State numbers can be found in detail at the attorney general’s website, as well as a county-by-county breakdown.