By Sarah de Crescenzo
Irvine has again recorded the nation’s lowest per capita violent crime rate among cities with at least 100,000 population, officials announced Monday.
Last year was the 11th year in a row that the rapidly growing city maintained its status as one of the nation’s safest, with 49 people per 100,000 residents being a victim of violent crime. By comparison, the county’s largest city, Anaheim, recorded 317 violent crimes per 100,000 people last year.
In 2014, Irvine police reported 120 violent crimes, which include homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults. That year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which compiles crime data from agencies in an annual report, estimated the city had 242,971 residents.
While there were seven fewer such violent incidents in 2013 – 113 were reported – the city’s population was estimated at 235,830, or about 7,000 fewer residents.
Even as Irvine continues to grow in population, its crime rate has remained low.
“As we become bigger, we remain safe,” Mayor Steven Choi said in a written statement.
In fact, the federal data released Monday revealed the city had recorded its lowest-ever per capita crime rate. That takes into account Part 1 crimes, a category comprised of violent crime and property crime.
Compared to 2013, the 2014 data show fewer homicides, robberies and aggravated assaults reported. However, 28 rapes were reported in 2014, more than double the 12 reported the prior year.
Property crimes was also down. The 3,045 property crimes reported in 2014 were fewer than in 2013, according to the FBI.
PHOTO CREDIT: SAM GANGWER, O.C. REGISTER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER