BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Ahead of ‘Crime Victim Rights Week’, Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Terry and Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer broke down the numbers on crime.
This public safety request came from Bakersfield City Councilmember of Ward 7’s Chris Parlier, as BPD saw a rise in crimes last year, compared to 2020.
“As far as Central Valley cities, our crime rate per 1,000 is lower than Fresno, Stockton, and Fresno. So, I don’t want to ring alarm bells. Any crime is too much, but ultimately crime can occur anywhere,” said Robert Pair.
“It’s the reality of the world we live in,” those words coming from Bakersfield Police Department’s Sgt. Robert Pair.
“It affects all socioeconomic levels and neighborhoods, from Seven Oaks to the east.”
Crimes, which BPD reports to the FBI every year, have gone up from 17,617 in 2020 to 18,796 2021. That 7% increase encompass violent crimes and property crimes.
While they can happen anywhere, Pair said some pockets have had it worse. BPD has seen a crime concentration in metropolitan Bakersfield.
“Predominantly the area from, say Belle Terrace North to 40th street, it contains Mount Vernon, all the way to Highway 99.”
It’s also where they’ve had their highest number of calls for service. In 2021, BPD received 292,183 emergency calls in 2021 compared to 266,196 in 2021.
Under BPD’s jurisdiction, violent crimes, homicide, aggravated assault, and rapes, when added together increased by 72 from 2,006 to 2,078.
Homicides went up from 45 in 2020 to 60 in 2021, that’s a city record according to Chief Greg Terry, 70% of those homicides are from gun violence. In 2021, our city exceeding a three-year shooting average every month.
“In a lot of cases, a shooting, within two inches to the left or the right, would have ultimately been a homicide, so those numbers on face value can be very alarming, and something that we take very very serious,” said Sgt. Pair.
With this information, our BPD is now partnering with the city through a violence intervention program to address this issue.
The program is meant to dissuade potential future victims or offenders from retaliatory patterns of gang-related crimes.
Instead, it will give them resources, like personal connections, service providers, and jobs.
“That’s something where you identify those, based upon prior investigations and interactions, that are the most likely to be the victims or offenders and try to interrupt that cycle through community partnerships.”
Violent crime isn't the only type of crime on the rise. We took an in-depth look at recent data from Bakersfield Police and have more on the other crime trends on the rise.
According to BPD, Bakersfield saw a notable increase in property crime.
Property crimes include the offenses of burglary, larceny or theft, and auto theft.
With the numbers on those offenses combined, the total amount of property crimes jumped from 15,611 in 2020, to 16,718 in 2021.
Police officials saying that catalytic converter thefts are driving those numbers up.