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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | WEST COUNTY / OXNARD

City's Crime Rate Drops 3.7% in 1997

January 22, 1998|SCOTT HADLY

With a big drop in assaults and homicides, crime in Oxnard continued to decline in 1997.

According to statistics released by the Oxnard Police Department on Wednesday, there were 3.7% fewer crimes in 1997 than in 1996.

The number of homicides fell from 17 in 1996 to five in 1997, the number of assaults fell by 45% and the number of burglaries fell by 1%, Oxnard police officials said.

Except for a 1% increase in 1996, the number of crimes in Oxnard has continued a steady decline since 1992 to rates not seen since the 1960s, officials said.

Despite the overall drop, the number of rapes rose from 57 in 1996 to 61 last year, and the number of robberies increased from 460 in 1996 to 518. There were also slight increases in larceny, theft and car thefts.

Officials continue to credit declines in part to the department's emphasis on community policing and the use of its gang enforcement detail. In the last few years, the department has also tapped into the efforts of more than 1,000 volunteers who make up local neighborhood patrols, officials said.

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