Violent crimes increase in Bakersfield in 2015

Posted at 2:16 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 21:36:02-05

According to data released by the FBI earlier this month, Bakersfield saw an increase in violent crimes in 2015.

The data compared January through June 2015 with the same months in 2014.

Data showed that murders in Bakersfield went from seven in 2014 to 12 in 2015.

But the biggest jump was in regards to rape. Bakersfield saw an increase from eight in 2014 to 38 in 2015. 

Bakersfield Police Department has statistics for all of 2014 and 2015.

BPD said rape crimes rose from 21 in 2014 to 71 in 2015.

Sergeant Gary Carruesco says BPD was prepared for the large increase.

"The definition of rape recently changed and that is why there's been a significant increase. Other sex crimes that use to be typed as, let's say sodomy, is now lumped in with rape."

Murder also rose in Bakersfield, from 12 murders in 2014 to 21 in 2015.

Sgt. Carruesco says they haven't solved the murder mystery.

"As far as a trend or a cause, it is really hard for us to put our finger on something. You have to deal with each case individually to see if there is any connection with any of the others. But there's so many of these that go unsolved unfortunately."
There isn't one factor that BPD can pinpoint for a rise in murders, but Prop 47, which classifies non-violent crimes as misdemeanors instead of felonies, allows more people to avoid jail and possibly commit more crimes.
"I think it's really early in those being in place to say definitively one or the other. However one would assume the fewer people that are incarcerated who normally would be would cause an increase in crime rates."

Data below is from the FBI:

Type of crime: 2014 #/2015 #

Violent Crime: 861/879

Murder: 7/12

Rape: 8/38(revised rape definition took effect in 2015)

Robbery: 334/324

Aggravated Assault: 512/505

Property Crime: 7,609/7,748

Burglary: 2,147/1,885

Larceny-Theft: 4,354/4,661

Motor Vehicle Theft: 1,108/1,202

Arson: 203/204