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Violent crime, property crime rates at 35-year lows

The 2014 violent crime rate of 3.31 per 1,000 population represents a 6 percent drop from 2013, and is the lowest in 35 years throughout San Diego County, according to the annual regional crime report released on April 22, 2015, by SANDAG.
 
'These regional statistics show San Diego County has never been a safer place to live than it is today,” said Dr. Cynthia Burke, SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Director. “In 2014, we saw one-year declines in five of the seven major crimes and 35-year lows in robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft and larceny. While it is impossible to say with absolute certainty what factors are most responsible for these declines, it appears that investigative and technological advances have been especially key in enabling law enforcement to arrest prolific offenders and better share information among justice stakeholders.”
 
There were 10,583 violent crimes reported to law enforcement last year, representing a steady decline dating back to the early 1990s. Violent crime includes homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The most common type was aggravated assault, which made up about two-thirds (67%) of all violent crime.
 
Although overall crime was down, homicides increased slightly (6%) from 70 in 2013 to 74 in 2014. In spite of the uptick, the homicide rate was the third lowest over the past 35 years. In instances where motive could be determined, most homicides fell into three primary categories: argument, domestic violence, and gang-related activity.
 
Robberies were down significantly in 2014 – 11 percent from 2013. Bank robberies increased by 1 percent from the previous year, but all other location types decreased between 7 and 20 percent.
 
Property crime reached a 35-year low, dipping 17 percent in 2014 from the previous year. A total of 59,049 property crimes were reported locally in 2014. The value of property stolen on an average day in the region was estimated to be $415,324. Notably, recovery rates of stolen property were up slightly from 18 percent in 2013 to 20 percent in 2014, reflecting $30.61 million in recovered property.
 
The annual report, Thirty-five Years of Crime in the San Diego Region: 1980 through 2014, includes a breakdown of crime statistics by jurisdiction. Crime data from all 18 cities and the unincorporated areas of the county were compiled and analyzed. The report serves as an important tool for local law enforcement agencies to track public safety trends over time and gauge the effectiveness of enforcement strategies and crime prevention programs.
 
Other notable regional findings in this year’s report include:
 
• The number of violent crimes against senior citizens rose 6 percent compared to 2013.
• Domestic violence crimes reported to law enforcement also increased 2 percent over 2013.
• Compared to one and five years earlier, the number of hate crime offenses declined by 20 and 39 percent, respectively.
• The number of reported motor vehicle thefts continued to decline to a new 35-year low of 9,460.
• Burglaries reached a new 35-year low (10,960). This decrease of 22 percent was the largest one-year decline in the seven crime categories.
• Across the region, 20 jurisdictions reported an annual decrease in the number of larcenies and five reported an increase.

Read the full report at sandag.org/2014CrimeReport.

Project Manager(s)

Dr. Cynthia Burke, Director, Criminal Justice Research Division
Phone: (619) 699-1910, E-mail: cindy.burke@sandag.org

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or pio@sandag.org.