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Crimes Rates Rose In First Half Of Year, SANDAG Reports

Aired 8/30/12 on KPBS News.

Violent and property crime rates in San Diego County rose in the first half of 2012 compared to the first six months of 2011, the San Diego Association of Governments announced today.

San Diego County's crime rate may have increased recently, but statistics show it is still the second lowest rate the region has experienced in the past decade.

The number of homicides reporter in 2011 increased for the the first time since 2006, according to SANDAG
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Above: The number of homicides reporter in 2011 increased for the the first time since 2006, according to SANDAG

According to San Diego Association of Governments, in the first half of 2012 the crime rate has increased 8 percent from mid-year 2011. This means the region is averaging 3.7 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

Between January and June, 5,808 violent crimes were reported to local law enforcement agencies. This shows a slight increase from 2011, with an average of 32 reports per day, rather than 29, according to the SANDAG report.

With data showing an increase in crime rates, SANDAG Director of Criminal Justice Research Dr. Cynthia Burke advises citizens on ways to divert potential danger.

“It is important for the citizen to know that maybe we have been feeling very safe, but it’s important to take a little more in precaution, especially in terms of property crime. Making sure that when they’re not home their doors are locked and windows are closed,” Burke said.

The number of rapes reported in the county has also increased 26 percent since mid-year 2011. It's the first increase in rapes since 2008. SANDAG attributes some of the increase due to the new definition of rape that was announced earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Justice. Violent crimes that were once categorized as aggravated assaults may now be categorized as rape.

Property crime increased in all cities in the county, except for Poway and Vista. The first half of 2012, the number of property crimes, such as burglaries and robberies, totaled 33,599.

“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,” Burke said.

City News Service contributed to this story

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