SAN DIEGO COUNTY–While overall crime rates in San Diego County have continued to decline, the number of homicides reported in the region in the first half of 2011 was up 65 percent compared to the same period in 2010, according to a SANDAG report released Friday.
Fifty-one homicides were reported between January and June 2011, compared to 31 in the first half of 2010.
However, the annualized violent and property crimes rates per 1,000 people in the region were both at 10-year lows during the first six months of 2011. At 3.30 incidents per 1,000 people, the 2011 mid-year violent crime rate was down 8 percent from 2010. Decreases were seen in three of the four violent crime categories – rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The one exception was the number of homicides.
“Overall, violent crime has continued its downward trend,” SANDAG director of Criminal Justice Research Dr. Cynthia Burke said. “The continuing decline of crime here is consistent with what is happening in the rest of the country.”
The mid-year property crime rate was also at a 10-year low, down 11 percent from 2010. Compared to the same period in 2010, larcenies dropped by 8 percent and burglaries by 13 percent, while vehicle thefts plummeted by 19 percent.
Other interesting findings in the report include:
- A total of 5,320 violent crimes, which include homicides, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults, were reported to local law enforcement agencies in the region between January and June 2011, an average of about 29 per day.
- There were 51 homicides in the first half of 2011, a considerable increase from the 31 reported mid-year 2010. Analyses of data from local law enforcement agencies on the 41 homicide cases where motive could be determined revealed that in 2011, about a quarter of the homicides were gang-related. That’s a higher percentage than what was attributed to gangs in calendar year 2010 (18 percent).
- The number of rapes reported across the region dropped for the third consecutive year – from 336 to 297 – a 12 percent decrease and a 10-year low.
- The number of robberies declined for the fourth consecutive year, from 1,679 in the first half of 2010 to 1,445 in the first half of 2011. That’s a 14 percent drop and a 10-year low.
- A total of 30,998 property crimes were reported to local law enforcement agencies in the first half of 2011. Sixty-three percent were larcenies, 20 percent burglaries, and 17 percent motor vehicle thefts.