Rise In Violent Crimes Follows Nationwide Trend
Authorities say the increase in violent crime – most likely the result of a rise in gang and drug activity – mirrors a nationwide trend in recent years, said Cindy Burke of the San Diego Association of Governments, which compiled the report.
“A lot of other jurisdictions are seeing a rise in violent crime,” Burke said.
Despite the slight increase from last year, the violent-crime rate in San Diego County remains significantly lower than it was in the mid-1990s, the report states. In 1997, there were 6.6 violent crimes – defined as homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults – for every 1,000 people. For the first half of 2006, the rate was 4.4 per 1,000.
The number of homicides during the first six months of 2006 jumped 51 percent from the same period last year. There were 65 homicides in San Diego County during the first six months of this year compared with 43 during the same period last year.
Robberies were up 12 percent from last year; rapes dropped 10 percent and aggravated assaults dropped 2 percent, the report states.
In all, there were 6,740 violent crimes during the first six months of this year, an average of roughly 37 per day, according to the report, based on statistics from all of the county's unincorporated areas and 18 municipalities.
Property crimes were down slightly from last year. In the first six months of 2006, there were 30.28 property crimes for every 1,000 residents compared with 32 per 1,000 in the first six months of 2005.
Motor-vehicle thefts dropped 5 percent from last year, as did residential burglaries. In total, there were 46,426 property crimes during the first six months of this year, most of them thefts and burglaries, according to the report.