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ha_jerrybrown30191.JPGCalifornia's crime rate declined in 2009, including a 6.6 percent drop in violent crime, Attorney General Jerry Brown reported today.

It's not only good news for the state, but good news for Brown, who is the Democratic candidate for governor.

"This latest drop in crime," Brown said in a statement, "is good news for Californians and reflects well on the dedicated and courageous efforts of peace officers throughout the state. Yet it is no cause for complacency. Crime remains a serious problem in California, and law enforcement officials at every level must redouble their efforts to ensure public safety."

The drop in crime rates was pretty much across the board, from homicide, down 8.9 percent, to auto theft, 15.8 percent lower. And it continues a years-long trend of lower crime rates that began after criminal activity hit a high point nearly two decades ago.

Crime rates in 1992 and have since dropped by 50 percent overall, a trend also seen in arrest statistics. There were 1.9 million arrests in 1992, when the state's population was about 30 million, but just 1.4 million last year, with a population about 25 percent higher than in 1992.

Brown said lower crime rates were recorded in all five of the state's largest counties. The full set of crime reports can be found here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Attorney General Jerry Brown, Sacramento Bee file photo, May 6, 2010. Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com



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