Mid-year crime statistics for San Diego County were released Wednesday, with mostly lower numbers in Poway and higher numbers countywide.
The report issued by the San Diego Association of Governments stated that the FBI index crime rate in Poway dropped 2 percent in the first half of 2012, and is down 29 percent from the same time frame in 2008. Poway’s index crime rate is the second-lowest in the county at 13.81 per 1,000 residents, with 4S Ranch the lowest at 6.41 and the county average at 25.07. Del Mar topped the county at 50.07.
Index crimes include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.
While the violent crime rate in Poway went down 4 percent from last year, it is 19 percent higher than the midyear rate in 2008, although it is among the lowest in the county at 2.15 per 1,000 residents.
The actual number of violent crimes reported in Poway in the first half of 2012 was 52, down 4 percent from last year but a 21 percent jump from 2008. No homicides have been reported in Poway this year, but two rapes and 32 aggravated assaults have been reported.
The actual number of property crimes reported in Poway in the first half of 2012 was down 1 percent from last year and down 33 percent from 2008. Motor vehicle thefts have dropped dramatically in the last five years, with 14 reported so far this year, down from 41 midway through 2008.
The midyear FBI index crime rate for San Diego County was up 8 percent from last year, but down 22 percent from 2008.
“We have enjoyed historic lows in crime rates over the past decade, so it’s not entirely surprising that the numbers are now going up,” SANDAG Director of Criminal Justice Research Cynthia Burke said in a statement.
“It’s too early to tell if the uptick is temporary or if it’s the beginning of a trend. Given the limited data at this point, I would also caution against attributing the increase in crime rates to any one cause,” she said.
According to SANDAG:
- A total of 5,808 violent crimes were reported to local law enforcement agencies in the region between January and June 2012. That was an average of almost 32 per day, compared to 29 per day during the first six months of 2011.
- There were 61 homicides reported in the first half of 2012, the second consecutive mid-year increase and a jump from the 51 reported during the first half of 2011.
- The number of rapes increased 26 percent from 298 in mid-year 2011 to 376 during the first half of 2012. This is the first increase since mid-year 2007 to 2008. At least part of the increase may be attributed to a new definition of rape announced earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Justice. Under the new definition, crimes that may have previously been categorized as aggravated assaults may now be categorized as rapes.
- The number of robberies increased from 1,445 in the first half of 2011 to 1,530 the first half of 2012, a 6 percent jump.
- The number of aggravated assaults increased 9 percent, from 3,527 in mid-year 2011 to 3,841 in mid-year 2012.
Findings on property crime:
- A total of 33,599 property crimes were reported to local law enforcement agencies in the first half of 2012. Sixty-three percent were larcenies, 20 percent burglaries, and 17 percent motor vehicle thefts.
- The 6,840 burglaries reported in the San Diego region in the first half of 2012 represented an increase of 13 percent from mid-year 2011 (6,074). However, while residential burglaries increased 23 percent (from 3,751 to 4,607), non-residential burglaries went down by 4 percent (2,323 to 2,233).
- The number of larcenies reported in the region mid-year 2012 (21,043) represented a 7 percent increase from mid-year 2011 (19,675). Both petty theft (estimated value of items stolen $400 and under) and grand theft (estimated value of items stolen exceeding $400) increased by 6 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
- Following four consecutive decreases, the number of motor vehicle thefts increased by 9 percent in the first half of 2012 (from 5,232 in 2011 to 5,716 in 2012).
A copy of SANDAG’s report is attached in the PDF section of this article.