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Countywide Jump in Homicides

April 28, 2017

By Ana Gomez Salcido

The number of homicides in the San Diego region went up in 2016, compared to 2015, according to the annual crime report released by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Division, this week.

There were 17 more homicides in the region – a total of 101 in 2016 compared to 84 in 2015. While this was considerably lower than the high of 278 reported in 1991, it was the third consecutive increase and the highest number reported since 2012.

Compared to 2015, fewer homicides were related to gangs or domestic violence and motives in cases where they could be determined were more varied.

“San Diego County remains a very safe place to live, compared to historical data as well as compared to other cities’ data,” said Director of Criminal Justice Research, Cynthia Burke to La Prensa San Diego Newspaper. “Still, I always say that one homicide is still one too many.”

Also, San Diego City remains in the among the five largest U.S. cities with the lowest homicides rates, following Honolulu, Austin, and El Paso. The homicide rate in San Diego City was 2.6 per 1,000 residents in 2015.

“Obviously our goal would be to have zero homicides, but I want people to understand that compared to other cities even though we had increases, we are still very low.” Burke added.

According to the report, there were also more violent crimes in 2016 than 2015, by 22 cases, although the 2016 regional violent crime rate of 3.33 per 1,000 residents was slightly lower by less than 1 percent than the previous year due to population growth.
A total of 10,960 violent crimes were reported to law enforcement in the San Diego region, in 2016. The most common type of violent crime in 2016 was aggravated assault, which represented just fewer than 64 percent of all violent crime; robbery represented 25 percent, rape 10 percent, and homicide 1 percent.

The report also indicated that the number of aggravated assaults with a firearm increased 14 percent. Similarly, the number of robberies committed with a firearm increased 30 percent.

“The increase of aggravated assaults and robberies with a firearm means that there is maybe more prolific violent offenders out there,” Burke said. “I know law enforcement is trying to target those violent offenders and the public should be aware of that.”
Since 1980, SANDAG has been reporting crime statistics for the San Diego region.

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