The upward trend in serious crime in Berkeley was underscored in recently released yearly crime statistics from the FBI.
The two major categories of serious, or "Part 1," crime – violent crimes and property crimes – both increased in 2012 from 2011. Violent crime was up only slightly, by 0.2 percent, to 487 crimes from 482, while the four categories of serious property crimes – burglary, larceny-theft, stolen autos and arson – rose 12.5 percent to 5,696 from 5,064.
The most striking increase for the first half of this year was a 35-percent jump in robberies of pedestrians, led by cell phone robberies at night, according to the Berkeley police report.
The yearly numbers released last week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed that Berkeley's violent crime rate last year – 4.2 per 1,000 population – ranked fourth among 24 East Bay cities, following Oakland (19.3), El Cerrito (5.2) and Pinole (4.8). The lowest rate was in Moraga and Orinda (each 0.3), followed by Danville (0.4).
In property crimes, Berkeley's rate of 50 per 1,000 residents was second, behind Oakland (65) and ahead of third-place Pleasant Hill (47.6). Lowest was Moraga (9.2), followed by Danville (10) and San Ramon (11.4).
The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports showed a nationwide increase of violent crimes and a decrease of property crimes, based on crime data from 18,000 jurisdictions in 50 states.
The data also included the number of police officers in the nation’s police departments, including the per capita. Berkeley has 1.5 sworn officers for every 1,000 residents, higher than the East Bay average of 1.2.
See the attached map for the number and ratio of officers in other East Bay police departments.
For other police-related news on Berkeley Patch, see our "Police and Fire" section.