The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department issued crime numbers that show countywide crime is up only slightly for the first six months of 2023 versus the first six months of last year, while it’s down 7.6% in the Santa Clarita Valley.
The numbers released by Sheriff Robert Luna through the department’s Transparency Promise website indicate the SCV Sheriff’s Station responded to 1,931 reports of Part-I crimes in the first half of 2022 compared to 1,784 in 2023.
City officials commended the work of the local Sheriff’s Department personnel in keeping the rates lower for most incidents in spite of what Santa Clarita Mayor Jason Gibbs described as “soft-on-crime policies” from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.
“Given the current challenges facing our law enforcement personnel due to the soft-on-crime directives of District Attorney George Gascón, it is a testament to our deputies’ commitment to keeping our community safe that we are seeing a drop in crime across the board,” Gibbs said in a statement emailed to The Signal. “Santa Clarita continues to be hailed as one of the safest cities in the nation. That is due in large part to our dedicated deputies at the SCV Sheriff’s Station and our vigilant community.”
The numbers from the department break down the crime reports by incidents reported from within city limits versus incidents reported in unincorporated territories. Incidents within city limits were down by nearly 5% overall, while incidents in unincorporated areas were down a little over 17%.
The biggest decrease reported by category of crime, which is the same data used by the FBI in calculating an area’s crime rate, is in aggravated assaults. There were nearly 30 fewer incidents in the city while there was a total of six more compared to 2022 in the unincorporated area, which brought the SCV’s total to 22 fewer, a decline of nearly 15%.
Larceny thefts and incidents of stolen vehicles both were down approximately 11% and 10%, respectively, which Capt. Justin Diez attributed to proactive policing efforts from deputies’ patrols and community support.
“Deputies are working day-in and day-out to reduce crime in Santa Clarita, which includes proactive patrols and community engagement,” he said. “Our special teams are doing numerous and ongoing crime enforcement operations every month — and regardless of what the D.A. does after the arrest is made, the station will continue to make proactive arrests.”
The statistics weren’t all good news. While overall violent crimes were down, 228 incidents in the first six months of last year compared to 221 in 2023, there was an uptick in robberies, with 43 happening in city limits in 2022 and 62 happening this year, a 44% increase. There were five fewer incidents in unincorporated territories.
The other area where crime rose was in aggravated assaults, which saw six more incidents in the unincorporated areas over the same time last year. There also have been two more homicides (three) reported valleywide in the first six months of this year versus last year.