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Violent crime up in state
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California saw an increase in violent crimes, with the homicide rate increasing by 3.7 percent between 2016 and 2015, a new report issued by the California Department of Justice revealed.

A total of 1,930 homicides were reported in 2016, an increase over 1,861 reported in 2015.

Over the past decade the homicide rate ranged from a high of 6.2 in 2007 to a low of 4.4 in 2014.

The violent crime rate per 100,000 population increased 4.1 percent from 2015 to 2016, but the property crime rate decreased 2.9 percent.

The motor vehicle theft rate increased 2.7 percent in 2016 (from 437.1 in 2015 to 448.9 in 2016 per 100,000).

From 2015 to 2016, the arson rate increased 4.2 percent, while the larceny-theft rate decreased 3.6 percent.

Things were also more violent for California peace officers in 2016. The total number of law enforcement officers assaulted in the line of duty increased from 9,924 in 2015 to 9,933 in 2016.

Homicides in 2016:

• 83.1 percent of homicide victims were male and 16.9 percent were female;

• Of the homicides where the victim’s race/ ethnicity was identified, 43.4 percent of victims were Hispanic, 29.5 percent were black, 19.4 percent were white, and 7.8 percent were of other race/ ethnic groups;

• While the largest proportion of Hispanic and black victims were aged 18-29 (47.8 and 42.2 percent, respectively), over half (56.0 percent) of white victims were aged 40 and over;

• When the victim-offender relationship was identified, 48.3 percent were killed by a friend or acquaintance; 32.9 percent by a stranger; and 13.4 percent by their spouse, parent, or child. Males were more likely than females to be killed by strangers (38.9 vs. 13.6 percent, respectively). Females were more likely than males to be killed by their spouse (21.4 vs. 0.9 percent, respectively);

• Of the homicides where location was reported, 39 percent occurred on the street or sidewalk, 23.7 percent in the victim’s residence (includes shared), and 11.3 percent in a residence other than the victim’s;

• The largest proportion of male victims, 43.2 percent, were killed on the street or sidewalk. Nearly half (48.9 percent) of the female victims were killed in their residence;

• Of the homicides where the contributing circumstance was known, 32 percent were the result of an unspecified argument, 31 percent were gang-related, 8 percent were domestic violence-related, and 7 percent occurred in conjunction with the commission of a rape, robbery, or burglary.

The report indicates that there were 1,440 arrests for homicide in 2016, an increase from 1,439 homicide arrests reported in 2015.