Orange County Crime Statistics from 2015 are shown on the map above. As of the date of this writing (2016) the last available statistics show that Orange County Crime Statistics have risen, after years of falling. In 2015, the overall crime rate rose 23% for Orange County.
As the Orange County Register noted in an article about the increase, much of it was theft crimes, and it was the greatest jump in crime in one year in at least a decade, if not more:
“…police officials blame the surge on a state law they say makes it difficult to keep drug addicts and other low-level offenders locked up, leaving them on the streets to repeat the same crimes and steal to feed their addictions.
Criminologists say that link is speculative, at best, and has not been supported by research of the complex variables that may affect crime rates. They also warn against faulting a major criminal justice initiative before its effects have been fully evaluated.”
The biggest increases were in Rancho Santa Margarita, where crime went up over 50%, followed by Garden Grove, where crime rose over 40%, and then Fountain Valley, also over 40%.
Quoting from the above article regarding reasons for the increase: ”
Local criminologists warn that anecdotal evidence and short-term increases in crime have been used in the past by police, prosecutors and others to attack legislation they oppose – regardless of whether a causal link has been established.
Charis E. Kubrin, a UC Irvine professor of criminology, said that was the case in 2011, when police departments around the state predicted a new state law, AB109, would cause a crime wave. The legislation, intended to reduce California prison crowding, shifted some state inmates and ex-inmates to the supervision of county agencies.
Nearly five years later, the predictions of increased crime tied to the change were largely discredited in numerous studies by the nation’s top criminologists. The collected studies were published this month in a volume of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science that Kubrin co-edited.
“Prop. 47 has become the new scapegoat, just like realignment was a few years ago,” Kubrin said. “There has not been one single study that has linked rising crime rates to Proposition 47. If I’m going to make a bet, I’m going to say that this is not related to Prop. 47 because of what we found with realignment, which is a much more drastic measure because of its size.”