Although the number of crimes being committed in the city is declining, Costa Mesa has the third-highest violent crime rate in Orange County, according to statistics presented to the council this week.
In a special presentation, Police Lt. Jim Watson reported that, on the average, crime has slowed down over the past three years. In fact, in 1991-92, he said, there were 8,755 crimes committed, down from 9,407 the year before.
But officials are not sure what factors are responsible for the decline, Watson said. A variety of factors could play a role, including a department program to target certain high-crime areas.
"Sometimes it is pretty hard to put your finger on it," Watson said. "We have been trying to target specific areas more closely. Instead of just having an officer routinely patrol there, we may send out two or three."