While robberies, burglaries, and thefts from cars have shown downward trends since 2012, the frequency of aggravated assaults and bike-car collisions have been sloping upward in the City of Santa Barbara, according to data released by the Police Department. Through the end of August, robberies have decreased 40 percent from the same period in 2013 and 52 percent from the same period in 2012. Similar, though less steep, drops were recorded in thefts from cars and otherwise.
But 2013 claimed a higher number of aggravated assaults — most of which are tied to alcohol or domestic violence — than the previous five years, with 325 events reported. The first eight months of this year are already showing a 2 percent increase from the same time in 2013. The time period for the past two years also saw fewer bike-car accidents, which have increased 26 percent and 44 percent since 2013 and 2012.
Also noted in the report was a reduction in the price of methamphetamine, which has led to a surge in its popularity. The number of arrests tied to that drug has surpassed arrests for crimes related to other narcotics. For June through August of this year, the Police Department made 182 meth-related arrests; coming in second were marijuana arrests (152), followed by heroin (48) and cocaine (43).