Crime News

Regional drop in property crime, rise in violent crime

The San Diego region remains one of the safest areas of the country compared to the United States overall, with the fourth lowest violent crime rate since 1980, and the lowest property crime rate ever, according to the SANDAG Criminal Justice Bulletin recently released.

Titled “Thirty-Eight Years of Crime in the San Diego Region: 1980 Through 2017,” the Criminal Justice Bulletin tracks four violent crimes (homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and three property crimes for each jurisdiction by year and over time. It also examines trends in domestic violence, hate crimes, arson, and violent crimes against seniors.

“While we should be proud of the overall safety of many areas in the San Diego region, it is important to remember that we know from victimization surveys that not all crime is reported to law enforcement and that some crimes, such as identity theft, are not included in these statistics,” said Cynthia Burke, director of SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division.

“That is also the reason why the increase in violent crimes against seniors is important to note. According to national sources, older adults may be less likely to recover from and to report their victimization,” Burke added. “With the jump in the number of violent crimes against seniors and an aging population, it is important that we work together to bring attention to this issue, as well as how this group may become property crime victims.”

Below are selected highlights from the Criminal Justice Bulletin:

— Compared to 2016 national figures, the most recent annual statistics available, the San Diego region had lower violent (3.33) and property crime rates (18.67) than the nation as a whole (3.86 and 24.51, respectively).

— Property crime rates were at a 38-year low in 2017 with decreases in the number of burglaries, larcenies, and motor vehicle thefts.

— In 1980, there were 38,752 burglaries in the San Diego region. This dropped to a record low in 2017 of 9,120, a 76 percent decline, even though the population increased an estimated 77 percent.

— There were 80 homicides in the San Diego region in 2017, a decrease of 21 percent from the 101 documented in 2016. Homicide was the only violent crime to decrease in number. Arguments were documented as the primary motive for approximately half of the homicides.

There were increases in each of the three other violent crime categories of rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The 3,013 robberies reported in 2017 represented the largest one-year increase (8 percent) in any of the crime categories. Almost one in five (18 percent) of the robberies reported in 2017 involved the use of a firearm.

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