per capita since 1956

Overall crime in Santa Monica last year dropped one percent from the previous year to a record low level since 1957, according to Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics submitted to the state Department of Justice.

The city’s total of major crimes — including homicide, rape, burglaries, larceny, aggravated assault and auto theft — fell from 2004’s “modern era low level” of 4,096 reported incidents to 4,048 incidents in 2005, according to the statistics report.

Crime in Santa Monica has dropped in 11 of the past 12 years, police said.

Leading the record decline in major crime was a 28 percent drop in rapes to 21 total incidents, the same number as in 2003.

Robberies, led by a 15-percent decrease in strong-arm robberies, were at their lowest point since the 1960s with a total of 241 incidents.

Burglaries increased by 35 incidents to 788 in 2005, but commercial burglaries dropped ten percent, police said.

Burglary incidents remain at their lowest levels since 1957, statistics show.

Since the peak year for major crimes in 1993, crime in Santa Monica has declined 63 percent.

Santa Monica recorded 44.2 major crimes per 1,000 residents in 2005, making it the lowest crime-year on record per capita since the city began keeping crime records in 1956, police said.