Watsonville had a per-capita violent crime rate much lower than Santa Cruz's and quite similar to Capitola's in 2012, according to a recently released FBI report.
Watsonville police reported 252 violent crimes last year, a slight decline from the 281 violent crimes reported in 2011.
There were two murders in the city in 2012, which was lower than the five killings in city limits in 2011. The number of robberies and assaults also fell in the year-to-year comparison.
In 2012, Watsonville had a violent crime rate of 4.8 known offenses per 1,000 residents. Santa Cruz reported a higher violent crime rate: 7.1. Capitola's violent crime rate was similar to Watsonville's, at 4.6 known offenses per 1,000 people.
The number of property crimes in Watsonville also was down in 2012. It fell from 1,605 in 2011 to 1,585 last year.
Watsonville's property crime rate of 30.4 known offenses per 1,000 people in 2012 was the second-lowest in the county. Santa Cruz reported the most property crime per capita, at 58.6 known offenses per 1,000 people. Scotts Valley was the lowest, at 27.6.
Use the grey scroll bars to see all the data in the table above.
The numbers were released this week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which reported a nationwide increase of violent crimes and a decrease of property crimes after compiling crime data from 18,000 jurisdictions in 50 states.
The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports also included the number of police officers in the nation’s police departments. Watsonville had 1.6 sworn officers for every 1,000 residents in 2012.
Note: Some area cities were not included in the report due to underreported data.