Report shows regional crime rates up, but still among lowest in the past 30 years
By City News Service
The San Diego Association of Governments recently released its 2012 crime statistics report, and officials said they association will continue to monitor a recent uptick in the region’s crime rate and factors that could be behind the increase.
The data from the umbrella group for the area’s governments show a 7 percent countywide climb in violent crime from the previous year, and a 6 percent hike in property crimes.
However, the numbers are still close to 30-year lows, according to SANDAG.
The organization released many of the statistics two weeks ago. The 107 murders in 2012 was up 30 percent over 2011, but the 12th lowest in the past three decades.
The number of aggravated assaults rose by 9 percent to 7,840 from the previous year, the sixth lowest mark in the 30-year period, but larceny and auto thefts rose by 7 percent, burglaries climbed 6 percent, and rape and robbery cases were up 5 percent, according to SANDAG.
The 3,200 robberies reported was the second-lowest total over the three decades, and the 691 reported rapes was the fourth-lowest, according to SANDAG.
“We are continuing to closely monitor the trend reversal and factors that may be contributing to it,’’ according to Cynthia Burke, SANDAG’s director of criminal justice research.
“In the past few years, there have been significant cuts in resources for crime prevention and other law enforcement efforts,’’ Burke said.
In addition, recent legislation has put new strains on law enforcement by shifting an increasing number of offenders and ex-offenders from state supervision to local supervision.’’
San Diego police Chief William Lansdowne has cited those issues in past public comments.
Other figures in the SANDAG report:
•Poway was the most crime-free city with a significant population in the county, with 1.94 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, and 11.55 property crimes per 1,000;
•National City has the highest violent crime rate, with 6.29 victims per 1,000 population, and the highest property crime rate among all but the smallest cities at 31.56;
•Among the smallest of the cities in San Diego County, Coronado had a violent crime rate of just 0.86 per 1,000 residents, while Del Mar had the highest property crime rate at 50.31;
• The number of bank robberies fell 22 percent, despite an uptick in robberies of all types.
The report also shows that the portion of recovered stolen property has consistently dropped over the past decade from 46 percent to 21 percent. Burke theorized that it could be easier to dispose of loot, while law enforcement agencies facing manpower shortages prioritize fighting violent crimes.