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Lancaster sees 13% drop in serious crime in 2011

February 2, 2012 |  1:19 pm

The city of Lancaster’s rate for serious crimes, including murder, robbery and rape, declined by 13% last year, according to statistics released Thursday.

Last year, Lancaster saw 260 serious crimes reported per 10,000 residents, compared with 299 per 10,000 residents in 2010, city officials said. The new rate represents a reduction of more than 42% since 2007, when there were almost 450 serious crimes per 10,000 residents.

Lancaster’s Mayor R. Rex Parris credited enforcement efforts by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, neighborhood and business watch groups, and the city’s aggressive stance toward violence, gangs and fraud for the dip in crime

“Collectively we said, 'This is enough; no more,' and immediately went to work building a better, safer Lancaster for our children and grandchildren,” Parris said in a statement.

Crimes grouped in the serious category are homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny/theft, grand theft auto and arson.

The new statistics show there were 2,361 fewer serious crimes in Lancaster in 2011 than in 2007, despite an increase in population by almost 14,000, according to the city, which cited sheriff’s department data. The statistics are collected as part of the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report.

For example, there were three homicides last year, none of which were gang- or gun-related, compared with 13 in 2007. Forty-two rapes were reported in 2011, compared with 59 four years ago, while burglaries dropped from 1,612 to 986 within the same time frame, and auto thefts from 845 to 387. The number of arsons plummeted by 61% from 89 in 2007 to 35 last year.

Parris warned about becoming complacent as the city celebrates its crime-rate success.

“We face new challenges daily and must be willing to evolve our methods, be innovative, and take prudent risks to keep Lancaster safe,” he said.

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-- Ann M. Simmons

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