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Homicide rate reaches historic low

POSTED December 16, 2011 8:41 p.m.

The rate of homicides in California fell to one of its lowest levels in more than four decades, according to data compiled by the California Department of Justice.
The report, "Homicide in California 2010" found the homicide rate per 100,000 people decreased 7.8 percent for the year.
The total number of homicides declined from 1,970 in 2009 to 1,809 in 2010. Over the last decade, the homicide rate ranged from a high of 6.8 percent in 2002 and 2005 to 2010's low of 4.7 percent, the lowest homicide crime rate since 1966, according to the Department of Justice.
The homicide clearance rate, or percentage of reported crimes that have been solved, has increased for the fifth consecutive year. Over the last decade, the homicide clearance rate ranged from a low of 49.6 percent in 2001 to a high of 63.8 percent in 2010.
In Stanislaus County, there were 29 homicides in 2010. Of those, one was reported in Turlock. The death of 26-year-old Luis Manuel Maldanado Rodriguez from a shooting on N. First Street in December 2010 remains an open investigation.
Among California's 35 most populous counties, Monterey County and Merced County experienced the highest homicide rate at 10 percent each. Placer County experienced the lowest at 0.6 percent. Stanislaus County's rate for 2010 was 5.5 percent.

The report also categorizes homicide-related data by gender, race, age, and other classifications.
In 2010, 80.3 percent of homicide victims were male and 19.7 percent were female.
Hispanics were the largest victims group at 44.5 percent; 29.6 percent were black, 18.2 percent were white and 7.4 percent were categorized as "other."
Over half (52.9 percent) of white victims were aged "40 and over," while the largest proportion of Hispanic and black victims were aged 18-29 (49.3 and 48.7 percent, respectively).
Females were more likely to be killed in their residence, while males were more likely to be killed on streets or sidewalks.
When the victim-offender relationship was identified, the largest proportion of victims (44.4 percent) were killed by friends or acquaintances. However, a greater percentage of black victims were killed by strangers than were white or Hispanic (47.7 versus 25.4 and 35.4, respectively).
Of the homicides where the weapon was identified, the majority (71.2 percent) involved a firearm.
Of the homicides where the contributing circumstance was known, 36.1 percent were gang-related and 35.4 percent were the result of an argument.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

 

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