Signal file photo.

City ranked ninth-safest in California

Santa Clarita was ranked the ninth-safest city in California by an online firm that crunched the latest crime statistics compiled by the FBI.

On Tuesday, SafeHome.org released a study naming the 25 Safest Cities in California after having analyzed data collected by the FBI from 13,366 law enforcement agencies of cities with at least 50,000 residents.

Santa Clarita was in the top-10 safest California cities at No. 9. (For a link to the complete study, visit SafeHome.org.)

The data — reflecting the most recent statistics collected by the FBI — is for calendar year 2015.

Analysts for SafeHome compared 2015 numbers to each city’s 2014 data to analyze whether violent crime and property crime are rising or declining.

The rankings were based on relevant categories of FBI data including population, property crimes, violent crime trend, violent crimes, citizen-to-officer ratio and property crime trend.

The top five safest cities in California, according to the ranking, are Yorba Linda, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and Lake Forest.

Santa Clarita scored behind San Clemente, Poway and Diamond Bar, which rated  sixth, seventh and eighth respectively, but ahead of Thousand Oaks, which ranked 10th.

The data used to identify the safest cities was collected and analysed by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program which began in the 1920s, and is considered the most comprehensive source of crime statistics.

Every year, data on crime occurrences is collected from the nation’s law enforcement agencies.

Data is not included if a given city’s law enforcement agency does not follow UCR’s reporting guidelines, SafeHome points out in its methodology.

Crime is reported in two categories, violent crime and property crime. Violent crime includes murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Property crime includes burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

SafeHome does not include arson data in its assessment.

Crimes are reported both as raw numbers and as occurrences for every 100,000 residents. The occurrences per 100,000 residents are used in SafeHome’s analysis. As it points out on its website, a large city such as New York City has more crime occurrences simply because it has such a large population.

The process of dividing for every 100,000 residents allows for fairer comparison among cities of different sizes, the organization says.

The FBI UCR data also includes, for many cities, a count of total law enforcement employees, both officers and civilians.

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