Violent crimes in San Diego rose by 2 percent for the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, according to a report released by the San Diego Association of Governments.
According to the mid-year crime report, there were 5,507 incidents of violent crimes, which includes homicide, rape, aggravated assaults and robbery, in the first six months of 2018 compared to 5,428 in 2017.
For the first half of 2018, 30 violent crimes and 153 property crimes were reported to law enforcement across San Diego County per day, according to the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division.
Violent crimes have been increasing in San Diego County in the past four years. In 2015, the number of violent crimes was 5,330. In 2016, it was 5,361. That's a 3.3 percent increase in crimes over the past four years.
The first half the year saw a spike in the number of rapes and aggravated assaults but homicides and robberies were down compared to the previous year.
Rapes increased by 13 percent and aggravated assault by 5 percent while homicides and robberies were down 5 and 7 percent, respectively.
SANDAG's director of Criminal Justice Cynthia Burke said some of the increase can be attributed to how law enforcement agencies report the crimes.
A change in the law in 2015 broadened the definition of rape to include "male victims, sodomy, penetration with any body part or object, and no longer requires force," she said.
“As a result, some crimes that would have been classified as aggravated assaults are now considered rapes and some crimes that would not have been considered violent crimes are now captured in these statistics,” Burke said.
While violent crimes are higher now than they were four years ago, they are still much lower than they were a decade ago when there were 6,201 reported cases.
Property crimes are also much lower now than they were 2008. There were 27,727 property crimes reports for the first half of this year compared to 42,402 cases in 2008. That's a 34.6 percent decrease.
Motor-vehicle theft saw the most notable drop in the past decade, which fell from a high of 10,186 cases in 2008 to 4,681 cases this year — a 54 percent decrease.