SAN DIEGO–After an increase in 2012, the violent crime rate in San Diego County dropped by 6 percent in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period last year, according to a SANDAG report released today.
However, the mid-year property crime rate continued to climb – with a 4 percent increase in the first six months of 2013, driven by a greater number of non-residential burglaries and larcenies.
”The turnaround in violent crime is positive news for the San Diego region. We know from our work with our law enforcement partners that even in the era of shrinking budgets, they have continued to direct resources to fight the most serious crimes,” SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Director Dr. Cynthia Burke said.
“That being said, we all need to be cognizant that most crime is property crime – petty and grand theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. Law enforcement can’t be everywhere. As members of the community, we all can help keep our neighborhoods safe by being aware of suspicious activity and not making ourselves easy targets. Many property crimes are crimes of opportunity.”
The mid-year violent crime rate countywide was 3.46 per 1,000 residents, the second lowest in the past ten years (the lowest was in 2011). A total of 5,431 violent crimes – homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults – were reported to local law enforcement between January and June 2013. That’s an average of 30 per day, compared to almost 32 per day during the first six months of 2012.
The mid-year property crime rate countywide was 22.28 per 1,000 residents, up from 21.39 in 2012. A total of 35,012 property crimes were reported to local law enforcement in the first half of 2013. Sixty-four percent were larcenies, 20 percent burglaries, and 16 percent motor vehicle thefts
Through a partnership with law enforcement, the SANDAG Criminal Justice Clearinghouse has been compiling and analyzing the most recent and accurate crime statistics from the 18 jurisdictions and unincorporated parts of the county since 1980. With this historical analysis, policy makers and others can track change over time and across jurisdictions to better understand how effective different law enforcement strategies are, as well as how crime patterns may be displaced or influenced.
Findings on violent crime:
· There were 40 homicides in the first half of 2013, a drop of 38 percent from mid-year 2012 when 64 occurred. Over the past ten years, the fewest number of homicides at mid-year were reported in 2010 (31) and the greatest number in 2004 (71).
· The number of rapes reported across the region decreased 17 percent to 313 in the first half of 2013. This number was the second lowest reported in the past ten years.
· The number of robberies also decreased during the first half of 2013, after an increase at the same time last year. This decrease from 1,529 in the first half of 2012 to 1,473 in 2013 represented a 4 percent decline.
· The 3,605 aggravated assaults reported during the first six months of the year represented a 6 percent decrease from the prior year and was the second lowest in the past ten years.
Findings on property crime:
· The 6,921 burglaries reported in the San Diego region in the first half of 2013 represented an increase of 1 percent from mid-year 2012 (6,846). However, while residential burglaries decreased 7 percent (from 4,613 to 4,291), non-residential burglaries increased 18 percent (2,233 to 2,630).
· The number of larcenies reported in the region at mid-year 2013 (22,439) represented the second consecutive increase and a 7 percent jump from mid-year 2012 (21,058). Both petty theft (estimated value of items stolen $400 and under) and grand theft increased (by 3% and 12%, respectively).
· Motor vehicle theft was the only property crime type to decrease from mid-year 2012 to 2013. The drop from 5,716 in 2012 to 5,652 in 2013) represented a 1 percent decline.