SACRAMENTO - Last year's reduction in California's crime rate was the biggest single-year decline in a decade. It also was the eighth consecutive year the overall crime rate dropped, according to a state Justice Department report.
The report, disclosing final figures of preliminary statistics that were released earlier in the year, also said the rate of homicides had dropped to less than half of the 1993 peak.
The study was released Wednesday by state Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
The final figures covering 1999 include statistics gleaned from every law enforcement jurisdiction in the state, providing a more complete picture than the earlier, preliminary report, Lockyer said.
The report, called ''Crime and Delinquency in California, 1999 Advance Release,'' includes crimes, arrests and adult felony dispositions reported by law enforcement, including police, sheriffs, prosecutors and courts.
From 1998 to 1999, the California Crime Index overall dropped 14.9 percent per 100,000 population. The index, known as the CCI, includes reported violent crimes of homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, and property crimes of burglary and motor vehicle theft.
Lockyer said the 14.9 percent decrease was the largest one-year drop in the CCI since the current reporting standards were established in the early 1950s.
He said homicides dropped 9.2 percent during 1999 - totaling less than half what they did six years before - and robberies showed a similar decline.
Meanwhile, felony arrests for adults decreased 9.1 percent, and the felony arrest rate for juveniles dropped 12.1 percent during the same period.