San Diego crime rate hits 30-year low

The crime rate in San Diego County has fallen to its lowest number in 30 years, according to a new report from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). This reportedly places San Diego third on a list of safest large cities in the U.S., which is determined based on the number of violent and property crimes in the region.

According to SANDAG’s “Thirty Years of Crime” report, violent crimes (which include homicide, aggravated assault, rape and robbery) have steadily dropped since it peaked in 1992. This was the case despite a concurrent decrease in the ratio of officers to citizens. The authors of the report believe the reasons for this are two-fold. First, county officials have aggressively investigated and prosecuted gang activity in recent years. And second, recent state and local laws have significantly increased the jail time and other penalties for violent crimes.

However, there has reportedly been an increase in violent crimes in recent years. There were 82 homicides in 2011, which was a 22 percent increase from 2010. Although the majority of these crimes were reportedly motivated by domestic abuse, the number of reported domestic violence incidents in 2011 dropped by 6 percent from 2010 numbers, hitting its lowest number since the late 1980s. It is unclear whether the number of domestic violence-related homicides plays into the overall number of domestic partner incidents, though.

On the whole, property crimes such as theft and burglary made up the largest percentage of the crime that took place in San Diego last year.