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San Diego Police Tout 2020 Crime Decreases

The San Diego Police Department headquarters is shown in this updated photo.

Credit: Milan Kovacevic

Above: The San Diego Police Department headquarters is shown in this updated photo.

The city of San Diego enjoyed an 8.4% reduction in overall crime last year while experiencing a minor uptick in violent offenses, police officials reported Monday.

When compared with the immediately preceding 12-month period, crime data from 2020 show decreases in five of seven categories. In the analysis, offenses are grouped by violent offenses, including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, and by property crimes, including burglary and theft.

While increases in homicides and aggravated assaults led to a 1.7% increase in local violent crime last year, the rate per thousand residents in 2020 is comparable to trends that played out in the early 1970s. Property crimes went down by 10.4%, and the rates for both those types of offenses and overall crime in the city are on par with ones seen in the 1950s, according to SDPD officials.

San Diego's 2020 crime trends were consistent with those of other major U.S. cities, with preliminary reports showing increases in homicides and aggravated assaults across the board, according to city officials.

"From facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic to keeping the peace during the many protests, 2020 was a trying year for police departments across the U.S.," Police Chief David Nisleit said. "The overall reduction in crime represents the continued work of our police officers every day and on every shift to prevent and reduce crime in our city. In 2021, SDPD will continue to build trust with our communities to stop crime before it starts and keep San Diego one of the safest big cities in the country."

The Police Department is scheduled to present the annual crime data to the City Council on Tuesday morning.

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