SANDAG: Violent crime hits 25-year low

Violent crime and property crime rates in San Diego County hit a 25-year low in 2008, while rapes and burglaries were up, according to a report released on April 14.

There were 4.09 violent crimes reported per 1,000 residents in San Diego County in 2008, a 7 percent decrease from the year before, according to the study by the San Diego Association of Governments.

“In spite of short-term factors, such as the downturn in the economy, crime rates continued to drop in San Diego County in 2008, said Cynthia Burke, SANDAG’s director of criminal justice research.

The report, “Twenty-Five Years of Crime in the San Diego Region: 1984 through 2008,” detailed crimes for all 18 cities and unincorporated communities in the county.

The rate of violent crimes - which includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault - peaked at 9.76 per 1,000 residents in 1992, according to SANDAG’s report.

There were 90 homicides in the San Diego region in 2008, compared to 106 the previous year. Homicides in the county peaked at 278 in 1991.

According to SANDAG’s report, 845 rapes were reported in San Diego County last year, a 20 percent increase from 2007.

Property crimes, which include burglary, larceny theft and motor vehicle theft, also dropped to 25-year lows, according to SANDAG. There were 26.79 property crimes per 1,000 residents in San Diego County in 2008, down 8 percent

from the previous year.

There were 4,018 robberies in San Diego County last year, compared to 4,387 in 2007, according to the report.

Burglaries, however, were up slightly. There were 16,931 burglaries reported in the region in 2008, up 1 percent from the 16,710 the previous year.