Violent crimes were on the decline last year across San Diego County, including a big drop in homicides, according to new statistics from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
After an uptick in 2012, the county saw a 5 percent decrease of violent crimes – which are considered homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults.
The 2013 rate was 3.66 per 1,000 residents, the second lowest rate in the past 30 years. That means 11,515 violent crimes were reported to local law enforcement.
“What we are seeing in the San Diego region is consistent with what other large cities are seeing throughout the United States – crime rates that remain at record lows,” said SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Director Dr. Cynthia Burke.
The SANDAG report shows that homicides had the biggest one-year decrease: 33 percent down. The county had 72 homicides last year, compared to 107 in 2012.
Fewer of those 2013 killings were gang-motivated, but more were tied to an argument. Child abuse-related deaths dropped from 13 in 2012 to 2 in 2013.
Robberies across the region fell 4 percent, but bank robberies specifically rose 22 percent, increasing from 79 in 2012 to 96 last year.
According to Burke, AB 109 – California’s prison realignment law – does not appear to have caused an increase in violent crimes. The law mandates that newly sentenced, non-violent, “low-level” felons serve time in county jails to reduce the population of state prisons.
However, Burke said AB 109 may play a factor in the slight increase of property crimes in the San Diego area. They were up less than 1 percent over the past year, with larcenies accounting for the increase.
For more crime statistics, visit SANDAG’s website.