Santa Cruz County

Report: Violent crime in Watsonville reaches lowest rate in 10 years

Watsonville crime drops

WATSONVILLE, Calif. - The rate of violent crimes in the city of Watsonville reached its lowest rate in a decade last year, according to the Watsonville Police Department.

The rate was 4.6 violent crimes per 1,000, according to the department's 2013 annual crime statistics report, which was released Monday.

The report is compiled using the FBI crime index statistics. The FBI crime index includes the violent crimes of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. It also includes the property crimes of larceny-theft, burglary, vehicle theft and arson.

In Watsonville, overall crime rate decreased by 16 percent - that's the equivalent of 259 fewer crimes reported in 2013. The violent crime rate declined by 7 percent; the property crime rate by 18 percent.

The property crime rate was 25.5 property crimes per 1,000 - the lowest rate in 10 years.

The city also saw fewer homicides in 2013 with just three, all of which police believe are gang-related. That was a 25 percent drop from the previous year.

In other promising news, the number of juveniles arrested decreased by 25 percent. The number of adults arrested, however, saw a small uptick of 6.35 percent.

"The report indicates promising trends in the reduction of serious crimes and we attribute our success to effective and efficient use of resources," said Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano. "Collaborations with the community, allied agencies and our commitment to youth are also to be credited. For example, the Caminos Program (Juvenile Diversion) provides the youth with restorative justice through programs such as the Neighborhood Accountability Board and Teen Peer Court, but it also provides wrap-around services by giving the youth and the family case management and counseling."

The full report is available here.

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