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Travis Allen’s Mostly False claim about crime in California

Originally posted in California Public Radio’s Politifact. 

Politifact uses quotes CJCJ’s Mike Males and uses data from his report Urban Crime Trends Remain Stable Through California’s Policy Reform Era (20102016),” to fact check a statement made by California gubernatorial candidate, Travis Allen. 

From the article: 

California Must Get Tough On Crime.”

That’s the message Travis Allen has proclaimed early in his campaign for governor, both on his website and in a video announcing his run.

The Republican state assemblyman from Orange County announced his campaign for the high office on June 222017.

California needs a new vision. California needs new leadership … I have seen crime increase in every major metropolitan area,” Allen said, adding a moment later: Crime is on the rise in every major market.”

Statewide trends in urban crime, Jan-June 2010 to Jan-June 2016

Mike Males is a senior researcher at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, a policy research group that makes recommendations on alternatives to incarceration.

He said citing the increases in 2015 amounts to cherry picking.”

In a February 2017 report, Males examined more recent figures that show total crime — or the raw number of property and violent crimes — decreased in 41 of California’s largest 69 cities from the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015. That contradicts the portion of Allen’s statement that says Crime is on the rise in every major market.”

Males described Allen’s overall statement as completely wrong,” adding, certainly crime is not up in every major market.”

Overall, Males’ report found total urban crime fell 3 percent in the first half of 2016, driven largely by the decrease in property crimes.

His report shows more mixed results, however, when separating the rate of violent and property crimes. A majority of the major cities saw increased violent crime rates during the more recent period, while a majority saw declines in property crime rates.

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