San Diego sees a dip in property crime rate in the city. Photo: Gina Yarbrough/San Diego County News

SAN DIEGO–The San Diego region reached a new 39-year low property crime rate in 2018, according to a new report released by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division, Thirty-Nine Years of Crime in the San Diego Region: 1980 Through 2018.

The new property crime rate of less than 17 per 1,000 residents represents a significant drop from the highest rate of about 67 in 1989.

The number of burglaries in San Diego County also reached a new low in 2018, with 8,267 reported. Half of the burglaries reported did not involve forced entry, indicating that the number could be further reduced through increased crime prevention.

While property crime rates were the lowest the region has seen since 1980, the overall violent crime rate remained unchanged from 2017. However, San Diego County did see one-year increases in the number of reported homicides, rapes, violent crimes against seniors, and domestic violence incidents.

There were 87 homicides in San Diego County 2018, up from 80 in 2017. In cases where a motive could be determined, 45 percent of homicides were the result of an argument, followed by domestic violence, which accounted for 16 percent. While the total increased in 2018, it is considerably less than the 39-year high of 278 in 1991.

“When considering these statistics, it is important to note that while San Diego remains one of safest parts of the country, increased crime numbers may not always be a bad thing if it means better reporting of such crimes as rape or domestic violence, notes SANDAG Division Director of Criminal Justice Dr. Cynthia Burke. “In addition, while these are the lowest property crime numbers we’ve seen since 1980, they only reflect crimes that were reported to local law enforcement.”

Here’s a breakdown of other notable findings in the newly released SANDAG report:

  • Aggravated assaults were up 1 percent compared to 2017.
  • The number of robberies and aggravated assaults committed with a firearm were down in 2018.
  • Larceny was the only property crime type to increase in number last year, with the greatest increase in the theft of bicycles (up 19 percent from 2017).
  • Reported shoplifting decreased 8 percent in 2018.
  • An average of almost $500,000 in property was stolen across San Diego County every day.
  • About 1 hate crime was reported to local law enforcement every 5 days, totaling 76 hate crimes throughout the year, compared to 95 the previous year. Perceived race was the most common documented motivation in 2018.

Read the full SANDAG Criminal Justice report: Thirty-Nine Years of Crime in the San Diego Region: 1980 Through 2018.

Since 1980, SANDAG has been reporting crime statistics for the San Diego region through a cooperative agreement with local law enforcement agencies. This report presents and discusses crime trend data for the past 39 years. Both crime rates per 1,000 resident population and the actual number of crimes reported are included in the full report.