The Sacramento Police Department just released its 2009 Annual Report which contains a good summary of crime trends in the city (p. 10-11). You can see a slow decrease in both violent and property crime over the past five years. There's also a set of color-coded maps showing where violent and property crimes occur the most.
This data is derived from raw statistics city police generate from reported crime calls. Data geeks will appreciate that this information is available in tabular databases on the SacPD site (in both txt and dbf formats). Since the tables contain fields such as location, time of day and crime type, you can do a lot of neat analysis in conjunction with GIS (electronic mapping). For example, the Bee's Phillip Reese in 2006 used GIS and crime incidents to show that a lot of street crime occurs within walking distance of stores that sell liquor. More recently, he found areas of Sacramento where hit-and-run accidents happen the most often.
Of course, most people are just concerned with crime near their homes and workplaces. The Bee's CrimeMapper database can help you locate reported crimes in your neighborhood. Just punch in an address and a distance (radius) from that point and CrimeMapper will quickly produce a list of incidents located in that circle. The site includes data from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, as well as Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, Lincoln, Rocklin and Folsom police departments.
While we're on the subject, check out the Bee's Arrest Logs, a brief listing of individuals arrested in the region in the past five days. Name, age, charge, bail amount and city of residence are included.
-- Pete Basofin