Irvine Does It Again - NBC Southern California

Irvine Does It Again

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Irvine Does It Again
    Irvine tops the list of safest large cities for the fifth consecutive year.

    Irvine has been named America's safest large city for the fifth consecutive year after registering the lowest violent crime rate in its history, the city's mayor reported Monday.

    Based on data released Monday by the FBI, Irvine is the nation's safest "large" city -- one with more than 100,000 people, Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang said in a statement.

    The figures are based on "violent crime per capita," he said. Violent crimes include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

    Violent crime in Irvine declined by 10 percent in 2008, compared to the previous year, said Kang, the first Korean American to serve as mayor of a large U.S. city.

    "A safe community ranks at the top of the city's priority list," Kang said. "There is nothing more important than preserving the safety and security of our community."

    Kang credited planning, leadership, and a partnership between police and the community for the low crime rate.

    Nationwide, the FBI said violent crime dropped in 2008, falling 2.5 percent compared to the previous year.

    Property crimes also fell, by 1.6 percent, according to the preliminary data collected by the FBI. Nationwide, murder and manslaughter dropped 4.4 percent.

    There were some increases, though. In small cities with less than 10,000 residents, murder rose 5.5 percent, rape increased 1.4 percent, and robbery 3.9 percent. Across the country, car thefts dropped more than 13 percent.

    The western region of the country saw the biggest declines, with a 4.2 percent drop in property crime and a 3.4 percent drop in violent crime. The Northeast saw a slight increase in property crime, which went up by 1.6 percent.