Murrieta remained among the safest cities in America in 2011, the announced following the June 11 publication of FBI's preliminary annual crime statistics.
The nation's top law enforcement bureau puts out its Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report each year based on information gathered from local agencies. This includes statistics on Part 1 crimes, which include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson, said Murrieta police Lt. Rob Firmes, in a news release.
"...Once again, the city of Murrieta’s crime rate is among the lowest in the nation for cities with a resident population of at least 100,000," Firmes said.
Based on information taken from the FBI report, Firmes said Murrieta ranked seventh in the nation, fourth in California and first in Riverside County for lowest crime rate.
Murrieta was listed with a population of 104,682 on the FBI report.
"The city of Murrieta has ranked in the top 10 lowest crime rates in the nation since its population surpassed 100,000 residents in 2007, something of which the city, its Police Department, and its citizens are very proud," Firmes said.
"A critical component in Murrieta’s success is the long-time partnership between the Murrieta Police Department and the residents they serve. Both groups have a vested interest in keeping the crime rate low, and neither can succeed without the other," he said.
In 2011 in Murrieta, according to the preliminary FBI report, the rate of some crimes decreased, while others increased.
Overall, violent crimes—murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault—were up 6 percent in Murrieta from 99 in 2010 to 105 in 2011, according to the report.
The city went from one murder in 2010 to two in 2011, an increase of 100 percent.
Forcible rapes were up 30 percent, from 10 in 2010 to 13 in 2011.
The city saw an increase of 3 percent in robberies, from 33 in 2010 to 34 in 2011.
There was a nearly 2 percent increase in aggravated assault, from 55 in 2010 to 56 in 2011.
Burglaries were down nearly 19 percent, from 429 in 2010 to 348 in 2011.
Vehicle thefts decreased by nearly 9 percent, from 126 in 2010 to 116 in 2011.
Crimes of larceny/theft increased 21 percent, from 852 in 2010 to 1,031 in 2011.
Arson was also up—by nearly 67 percent. There were six reported arson offenses in 2010 and 10 in 2011.
CQ Press, which ranked Murrieta as the No. 7-safest city in the U.S. with a population between 100,000 and 499,000 based on 2010 statistics is expected to publish its rankings for the 2011 numbers in the fall.
There were six California cities which fell in the top 10 nationwide on CQ Press' list: Irvine, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Murrieta, Orange and Glendale.
A look at the FBI's 2011 statistics for one of these cities, Irvine, showed there was not an overall increase in violent crimes in the city of 214,782. There were no murders in 2010 but two in 2011, an increase of 200 percent. Irvine had a 19 percent increase in aggravated assaults. However, rapes were down by 118 percent and the amount of robberies, 40, stayed the same over the two-year period.
Closer to home, the neighboring city of Temecula, which has a population of 101,724, experienced an increase in violent crimes of 28 percent when computing the FBI statistics. Temecula went from two murders in 2010 to none in 2011, but rapes were up 133 percent, robberies were up 28.5 percent and aggravated assaults increased 26 percent.