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Irvine remains safest U.S. city

City maintains its' standing for seventh straight year, while Costa Mesa experiences a 21 percent drop in crime.

May 24, 2011

Costa Mesa reported a significant drop in crime in 2010, and Irvine kept its hold on its distinction as America's safest large city for the seventh straight year, according to FBI data released Monday.

The data analyzed cities with populations of 100,000 residents or more, and looked at violent crimes and property crimes from 2009 and 2010. Among violent crimes considered were murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Property crimes included burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Irvine, a city of about 217,000, had 120 violent crimes in 2010, down from 153 the year before. The city saw no murders in 2010, down from three in 2009, and 24 rapes were reported last year.

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Costa Mesa, a city about half the size of Irvine with 110,000 people, reported about double the total number of violent crimes than Irvine in both 2009 and 2010, according to the FBI data.

But crime declined in Costa Mesa overall. There were 240 total crimes reported in 2010 — a drop from 304 from 2009. Costa Mesa saw one murder in 2010 and 2009. There were 34 incidents of forcible rape in 2010.

Newport Beach numbers were not released in this batch of data, as its population is less than 100,000.

Nearby Huntington Beach, with about 193,000 residents, reported 449 violent crimes last year, up by 72 from the previous year. There were two murders reported in 2010, down from one the previous year. Rape was up by two, from 30 in 2009.

The data collected by the FBI included numbers that were voluntarily submitted by law enforcement agencies in cities around the country. Nationally violent crimes decreased by 5.5% and property crimes decreased by 2.8%, according to the study.

For cities between 100,000 and 249,999 violent crime dropped 5.2% and property crime dropped 3.7%.

— Lauren Williams

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