SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Violent and property crime rates in San Diego remained low last year despite an uptick in homicides, aggravated assaults and auto thefts, the San Diego Association of Governments reported Monday.
The 2016 violent crime rate per 1,000 San Diego County residents was 3.33, and the property crime rate was 18.66, according to SANDAG. Both rates were the second lowest recorded since the regional planning agency started issuing annual regional crime reports 37 years ago.
"San Diego County remains a very safe place to live," said Cynthia Burke, SANDAG's director of criminal justice research. "However, there are a couple areas of concern - homicides are up, so are robberies committed with a firearm, as well as violent crimes against seniors."
The number of homicides in the county rose for the third year in a row to 101 - 17 more than 2015. The total is the most since 2012, but still well below the high of 278 in 1991.
SANDAG said fewer homicides last year were related to gang violence and domestic violence, but killings for other reasons, such as during burglaries and robberies, went up from 2015.
Among other findings in the report:
- violent crimes against victims aged 60 and above has climbed by 37 percent over five years;
- residential burglaries fell by 8 percent, while the total of all types of burglaries hit an all-time low since SANDAG began tracking crime statistics;
- while the burglary rate declined, the number that involved forced entry into a building rose 10 percent;
- the motor vehicle theft total rose 11 percent, which led in part to an increase in the value of stolen property, which averaged more than $468,000 a day, and
- the number of robberies and aggravated assaults that involved handguns rose by 30 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
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