Mayor says crime is down compared to 2008

Crime in San Diego dropped 16.3 percent during the first half of the year compared with the corresponding period in 2008, Mayor Jerry Sanders announced July 29.

Over the first six months of 2009, the number of violent offenses was down 2.6 percent from that seen during the first two quarters of last year, Sanders said during a briefing outside downtown San Diego police headquarters.

Likewise, rape, robbery, murder and property crime decreased - by 10.1 percent, 8.8 percent, 7.7 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively - from Jan. 1 through June 30 this year, according to Sanders.

The number of aggravated assaults, however, increased by 1.7 percent, and illegal activity attributed to gang members went up by 6.4 percent.

The mayor praised SDPD Chief William Lansdowne and his officers for the continued improvements, though he did note that the crime drop had one unexpected effect - leaving the city off the list of recipients for law enforcement grants announced this week as part of the federal government’s economic-stimulus payouts.

“San Diego continues to be one of the safest cities in the nation,

largely due to the efforts of this police force and their partnership with the community,” Sanders said.