A report issued last month by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) indicates that overall crime in the County is at a 30-year low. SANDAG consists of the 18 cities in San Diego County, as well as the county government. It is involved with regional planning and decision-making, and its membership includes mayors, council members and county supervisors.
While the SANDAG report represents good news for all of us, a close look at the figures reveals some interesting results.
- Overall crime. The downward trend in total crimes this past year is consistent with general decrease in the crime rate in San Diego between 1982 and 2011. The significant decrease in the crime rate in the last two decades, however, is in part attributable to the fact that the crime rate spiked in 1992, after a decade of increases.
- Homicides are up. While the overall rate of violent crime decreased in 2011, the number of homicides increased for the first time in about five years. The report breaks down identifiable circumstances leading to homicides. Arguments, gang activity and domestic violence constitute the majority of items in this category. The gang-related homicide rate was unchanged from the prior year, and the rate relating to arguments decreased; however, the homicide rate attributable to domestic violence increased almost 25%.
- Violent crimes. While violent crimes continued to decline in San Diego, the rate has remained higher than the national average since about 2005.
- Property crimes take center stage. The report also sets forth what it categorizes as “property crimes.” SANDAG includes in this category larceny (theft), burglary and motor vehicle theft. Consistent with most of the other statistics, these property crimes were down in 2011 compared with the previous year. Furthermore, the rate has been declining for over five years, and the property crime rate in our area has remained below the national average since the mid-1990’s. The most surprising statistic in the entire report, however, is that these three crimes – larceny, burglary and motor vehicle theft – constituted a whopping 86% of all crimes reported to law enforcement in the San Diego region.
With our economy stagnating, perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked that property crimes make up the vast majority of all crimes reported in the region. The fact remains, though, that tens of thousands of people are arrested in San Diego County each year for shoplifting and other forms of theft offenses. If you have been charged with theft, contact an experienced San Diego criminal attorney to provide you with the protection and guidance you desire and deserve when facing criminal prosecution.
Law Offices of David Shapiro
1501 5th Ave, #200
San Diego, CA 92101