Violent crime, robbery, burglary and auto theft are on the rise in Morgan Hill over the last year, according to a recent report from Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office. However, a new countywide initiative to combat these trends—which are mirrored in other nearby cities—is being implemented by the D.A.
On April 12, Rosen issued the office’s first report ever that compiles crime data from county law enforcement and judicial agencies, as well as figures from individual cities located within Santa Clara County.
Spurred by this 32-page analysis, Rosen’s office will be launching initiatives targeting gun crime and residential burglaries. These efforts are intended to more quickly match weapons and ammunition with the criminals who used them, and to take serial home burglary gangs off the streets, according to DA’s Office staff.
“Through a more data-driven approach to crime, our county law enforcement partners will be able to better utilize their limited resources for efficient and effective crime fighting,” Rosen said. “This recommitment to fighting crime with the latest and most comprehensive data will strengthen our collaboration for years to come.”
The crime data analysis, titled “Crime in Santa Clara County,” details a historically safe county facing new criminal challenges—namely residential burglaries and a recent spike in violent crime—with a declining number of officers to address them, summarizes a press release on the report.
The DA’s new Weapon Initiative will increase staffing at the DA’s Crime Laboratory in order to speed up the processing of guns and bullet casings collected as evidence in crimes. Rosen expects this effort to lead to “more arrests, and more prosecutions.”
To combat residential burglaries, the DA’s Crime Strategies Unit will partner with local police task forces to identify and prosecute burglary crews. The DA’s report notes that a small number of “prolific burglars” are responsible for a large portion of the residential burglaries in the county each year.
The DA’s Crime Strategies Unit uses data analysis to improve officials’ understanding of crime and the prosecution of crime in the county, according to the press release. The CSU shares that intelligence with local police departments, other units in the DA’s office and the public to help solve crimes and “promote fairness and equity in the criminal justice system.”
The recent trend of declining property crime and rising violent crime mirrors that of the nation as a whole, according to the report. Gun cases in particular have risen slowly, and slightly, in Santa Clara County in the last five years, from 974 in 2012 to 982 in 2016. Gun cases are defined as gun-related crimes (629 in 2016) and crimes with a gun enhancement (353 in 2016).
The DA’s report also contains a number of charts and tables illustrating different incidents of crime and changes in each of the county’s cities. In Morgan Hill, three categories of crimes increased by double digits from 2015 to 2016: violent crime (15 percent increase), aggravated assault (16 percent), robbery (20 percent), burglary (11 percent) and auto theft (3 percent).
Property crimes in general in Morgan Hill dropped by 12 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to the report.
Numbers of incidents in Morgan Hill 2016, according to Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s “Crime in Santa Clara County” report:
Violent crime: 82
Aggravated assault: 58
Property crime: 642
Car theft: 113