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Report: Violent crime in San Diego County was up, property crime was down in first half of 2022

Violent crime in San Diego County increased 2 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year, according to a report released this week.

Property crime dropped 2 percent, according to the report by the San Diego Association of Governments, known as SANDAG.

The violent crime rate at the mid-year mark — 3.73 per 1,000 residents — was the highest since 2012, according to the report. Overall, though, the violent crime has been virtually flat in recent years. For comparison, the county’s lowest violent crime rate during the same time frame was 3.21 per 1,000 residents in 2020.

Crime locally and nationally has generally declined since the early 1990s, and the city of San Diego has consistently ranked among the safest major cities in the U.S. in recent years.

Cynthia Burke, SANDAG’s senior director of data science, said that while the region’s crime rates are still relatively low compared to historic highs, it is important for the community to be aware of the increases in certain types of offenses.

“The cost of victimization is more than monetary, and it is important that we all work together as our communities face a number of different challenges coming out of the pandemic, which has affected us all in myriad ways,” Burke said in a statement.

Violent crimes include homicides, robberies, rapes and aggravated assaults.

Homicides increased 4 percent — from 49 to 51 — and robberies were up by 15 percent. The top motives for homicides were arguments, at 62 percent of the total cases; gang involvement, at 13 percent; and domestic violence at 9 percent, according to the report.

Rapes decreased 11 percent — from 532 to 475 — and aggravated assaults dropped by 1 percent.
Most violent crimes involve aggravated assault, the report says. Despite the slight decrease, the total aggravated assault cases — 4,301 — was the second-highest since 2012. That was just a bit lower than the 4,316 aggravated assaults reported in the first six months of last year.

The property crime rate — 15.95 per 1,000 residents — was the second-lowest since 2012, according to the report. The highest during that period was recorded in the first six months of 2013, when the property crime rate was 21.88 per 1,000 residents.

Property crimes include burglary, larceny and vehicle thefts. Non-residential burglaries increased 19 percent and residential burglaries dropped by 2 percent.

Larceny — which includes shoplifting and theft from vehicles — decreased 6 percent.

Vehicle thefts were up 4 percent. The total — 5,678 — was the second-highest since 2012, according to the report.

Researchers noted that violent and property crimes are underreported. They cited a Bureau of Justice Statistics study that found that 1 in 5 of every violent crime and 1 in 3 of every property crime are reported to law enforcement.

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