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San Diego County Crime Rate Up 6 Percent

A rise in theft pushed the crime rate in San Diego County up 6 percent last year, but it remains relatively low when compared with statistics compiled over the past 36 years, according to a San Diego Association of Governments report released Thursday.

The report, "Thirty-Six Years of Crime in the San Diego Region: 1980 Through 2015," states that the number of larcenies reported in 2015 was 11 percent higher than in the previous year. About a third of them involved an item being taken from a vehicle.

The number of break-ins or other unlawful entry of a structure in San Diego County fell to a 36-year low in 2015, and about half of the 10,731 reported did not involve forced entry. Burglary was the only property crime to decrease in number from 2014 to 2015, according to SANDAG.

The 84 homicides in the San Diego region in 2015 was 14 percent higher — or 10 more — than in 2014, although the violent crime rate has been on the decline since 1992. But a greater proportion of the slayings stemmed from arguments and fewer were tied to gangs, according to SANDAG.

Last year, 10,938 violent crimes like homicide, robbery and aggravated assault were reported to local law enforcement agencies, which brought the rate to 3.35 per 1,000 population — 2 percent higher than in 2014.

The overall crime rate in San Diego County in 2015 was 6 percent higher than a 36-year low in 2014, according to the annual crime report. About 85 percent of the 74,383 crimes reported to local law enforcement agencies last year were property crimes.

"Despite this year's uptick, the crime rate was still the second lowest since 1980," SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Director Cynthia Burke said. "And the region still has one of lowest crime rates in the nation."

Researchers also found the number of domestic violence incidents across the region had increased 6 percent, violent crimes against seniors were up 10 percent and auto theft was up 5 percent. However, hate crimes had decreased by 12 percent and arson was down 13 percent.


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