Soaring Population Masks Dip In Crime

Jan 22, 2020

Credit FBI



The rate and number of violent crimes declined in Chico last year, while property crimes remained almost unchanged. A new report from the Chico Police Department has law enforcement declaring victory.  


On the face of it, the figures aren’t something to boast about loudly. Violent crime dipped by nine percent between 2018 and 2019, with 54 fewer incidents reported. It’s a move in the right direction, but not exactly huge.

Chico Police chief Michael O’Brien said the statistics hide a sharper reduction in crime rates, because Chico’s population soared roughly 20 percent after the Camp Fire.


Aggravated assaults dipped 15 percent to 353 in 2019, while the number of rapes jumped 16 percent for a total of 100. There were 17 percent fewer burglaries in 2019, for a total of 272, meanwhile, the number of vehicles stolen jumped 21 percent to 381. No homicides were recorded in 2019, down from two cases the year before.  


Though unrelated, Chico Mayor Randall Stone is scheduled to deliver a state of the city address this evening in the Chico Council chambers at 6 p.m.