San Diego experienced an increase in violent crime reports in the first half of 2015, according to FBI crime statistics released Tuesday.
Between January and June last year, there was a 9 percent jump in violent crimes, compared to the same time period in 2014.
The rise matches a national trend, though across the U.S., the uptick in violent crime rates was smaller – 1.5 percent.
Every year, the FBI collects crime statistics from 13,000 law enforcement agencies. The categories considered violent crimes are murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery.
“There are other local agencies that do their own crime reports, but this is the only one that’s done at the national level, regional level and local level,” said Special Agent Darrell Foxworth.
He explained all categories of violent crime saw an increase nationwide: 9 percent for rape, 6 percent for murder and 2 percent for aggravated assaults.
The figures are used to help law enforcement and inform the public.
“It’s used for a number of purposes. It gives the community and law enforcement a snap shot to say ‘OK, well, do we need to look at where our resources are dedicated?’” Foxworth said.
Locally, one type of crime was just slightly down. San Diego police documented 17 murders in the first half of 2015 compared to 19 homicides in the first half of 2014.
According to Foxworth, the increase in violent crimes was mostly centered in the aggravated assault category.
“So, the violent crime rate increased in San Diego approximately 9 percent, which was basically 254 more offenses reported to law enforcement,” Foxworth said.
He stressed the 9 percent violent crime increase amounts to only 254 more incidents.
“Just because we say we have a 9 percent increase in the violent crime rate, there again when you look at the overall population of San Diego as 1.3 million, and we’re looking at an overall increase of just 254 offenses, I don’t want people to become too excited about that,” Foxworth said.
These numbers are preliminary. When the final report comes out later this year, the FBI calculates the percentages on a per capita basis so law enforcement agencies can get a better feel for any areas that need improvement.