The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has released the February crime data for the Santa Clarita Valley, showing for the second time this year that Part I crimes, which are considered the more serious offenses, continue to decline when compared to last year.
Data available online as part of Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s “Transparency Promise” reports Part I crimes, which include homicide, rape, robbery/theft, assault and arson, were down from 270 in February 2020 to 225 in February 2021 — a 14.39% overall drop-off.
Part II crimes, which consist of forgery, sex offenses, liquor laws, narcotics and other, less serious offenses than those belonging to Part I, were, however, up from the previous year. In February 2020, 407 of these Part II criminal offenses were reported and February 2021 saw 450 reported, resulting in a 10.56% increase within the SCV.
The month of January this year saw a similar fall in Part I crimes, as well as a similar increase in Part II crimes. But the combined number of crimes reported in both January and February of both years shows only a one-crime difference between one another, with 2020 having 1,340 Part I and Part II crimes reported and 2021 having 1,341 crimes reported during the first two months.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Capt. Justin Diez said last month the department has emphasized putting more resources out in the field in order to combat Part I crimes.
Sgt. Brian Shreves of the SCV Sheriff’s Station said Tuesday that the dip in Part I crime has also been attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, but crime trends have changed and will continue to change as a sense of normalcy returns.
“I think we’re holding pretty steady, or are even down a little bit overall in (comparison to the) to the past five years,” said Shreves, when discussing Part I crimes, but added that some crime categories this year will continue to rise in comparison to last year as the “legitimate fear of what was going on with the pandemic” kept people indoors.
The SCV Sheriff’s Station had 592 reported Part I and Part II crimes in February 2019 (223 Part I) and 762 reported Part I and Part II crimes in February 2018 (287 Part I).