Property crime – including car thefts and burglaries – has increased across San Diego this year, and the same goes for violent crimes, including homicides, according to a newly-released report.
The San Diego Association of Government’s (SANDAG) Criminal Justice Division released its 2016 mid-year report Wednesday on local crime stats. The report said property crime is up by 4 percent countywide, while violent crime has increased by 1 percent.
According to SANDAG, there were 49 homicides reported in the first half of 2016 – an increase of 14 percent from this same time period last year, when there were 43 homicides.
In the category of property crime, SANDAG said the biggest jumps are from auto thefts and burglaries. The report said motor vehicle thefts have increased by 16 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to this same time period last year. A total of 5,551 vehicles have been stolen in San Diego so far this year – or an average of four more per day than last year’s statistic.
SANDAG’s report said the rise of residential and commercial burglaries have also added to the overall increase in property crime in San Diego. In the first half of 2016, SANDAG said 5,291 burglaries were reported in the county – a 6 percent increase from mid-year 2015.
In all, 31,799 property crimes were reported from January to June 2016. Of that figure, 66 percent were larcenies, 17 percent burglaries and 17 percent motor vehicle thefts, SANDAG said. Property crimes make up 85 percent of crimes reported in the region so far this year.
The number of robberies in San Diego also increased by 4 percent – to 1,396 – according to the mid-year report.
In the category of violent crime, the report said aggravated assaults have decreased by 1 percent, possibly because in 2015, California law enforcement agencies began using the FBI’s broader Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) definition of rape, leading to the reclassification of some assaults as rape. SANDAG said the change means the total number of violent crimes now includes incidents that would’ve previously been categorized differently.
There were 558 rapes reported in first six months of this year under the new UCR definition, compared to 511 in the first half of 2015.
A total of 5,409 violent crimes were reported to local law enforcement between January and June of this year, or an average of 30 per day, according to the report. That’s about one more per day than reported in mid-year 2015.
SANDAG said it is not possible, at this point, to confirm exactly what is causing the uptick in crime in San Diego.
“Other West Coast cities also are seeing increases in crime, and we are watching the data closely,” Dr. Cynthia Burke, Director of the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division, said in a press release Wednesday.
According to SANDAG, this crime report includes statistics from the 18 cities and unincorporated communities that make up San Diego County. To read SANDAG’s full mid-year crime report, click here.