SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego County is generally safer than the U.S. as a whole, though elder abuse and several types of violent crime are on the rise locally, according to a report released Friday.
San Diego Association of Governments' Criminal Justice Research Division Director Cynthia Burke today presented the report, which compiled regional crime data from 1980-2017, to the agency's Public Safety Committee.
Property crimes, in particular, hit a 38-year low in San Diego County last year with 56,793 reported cases: a rate of 17.13 cases per 1,000 people.
Figures from 2016, the newest available national statistics, also show the 2016 local property crime rate of 18.67 was lower than the nation, which had a 24.51 property crime rate. In contrast, San Diego County featured a higher property crime rate than the U.S. in 1980.
Larcenies represented most of the local property crimes, 67 percent, committed in 2017. Vehicle thefts made up 17 percent and burglaries another 16 percent, including an alarming number of unforced burglaries through unlocked windows and doors, Burke said.
"It blows me away how many burglaries are done without forced entry," Burke said to the committee. "Don't make yourself an easy target."
Though reported property crimes fell, there were 11,289 violent crimes in 2017, a 2 percent increase over 2016. The 2017 rate was still the fourth- lowest local violent crime rate since 1980. The 2016 rate of 3.33, meanwhile, was lower than the national 2016 average of 3.86.
The number of homicides decreased in 2017, though there were more rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults.
Aggravated assault was the most common type of violent crime, representing nearly two-thirds of cases. Robberies accounted for 27 percent of violent crimes, rapes 10 percent and homicides 1 percent.
Reported cases don't represent all crime committed in San Diego County. A 2016 National Crime Victimization Survey estimates only 36 percent of property crimes and 42 percent of violent crimes are reported in the U.S.
Crime against elders, in particular, may end up falling through the cracks, District Attorney Summer Stephan told the committee. Victims may have trouble reporting abuse by loved ones or caregivers. Many cases are also brought to county Adult Protective Services but aren't presented for prosecution.
Over the last five years, the number of reported violent crimes against San Diego County seniors has jumped 37 percent.
"Clearly that indicates this is an area that needs extra attention, especially when you look at San Diego County as a very safe region. This is a definite outlier that needs our attention," Stephan said.
The District Attorney's office released a blueprint in March for combating elder abuse, similar to other regional blueprints regarding child abuse, human trafficking and domestic violence prevention.
The blueprint recommends creating police protocol to better recognize elder abuse. It also proposes an elder protection council that brings together Adult Protective Services employees as well as medical, banking and real estate professionals to address common violent crimes and financial scams directed toward seniors
March's full moon will be the third supermoon in as many months, but don't take this moon for granted. It's also the last supermoon of 2019.
Police are investigating a home invasion where two men broke into an elderly woman's Valencia Park home and tied her up.
San Diego Unified School Board District B Trustee Kevin Beiser on Tuesday night denied allegations he sexually abused a local political consultant from 2013 to 2018 that prompted two local political groups to call for him to resign.
A week after former KFMB owner Elisabeth Kimmel was charged with felony charges stemming from alleged bribes paid to get her son and daughter into top-ranked universities in the country, the Kimmel’s family foundation is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general.
A storm system moving in from the northwest could drop light rain in San Diego County Wednesday and will bring a chance of thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service.
An area of low pressure and associated cold front will bring us rain by Wednesday morning, resulting in mostly light and moderate rain. Additionally, there is a slight chance for thunderstorms with the passage of the front on Wednesday afternoon through the early evening hours.
A couple walking their dog in Oceanside Tuesday came across a shotgun and a .357 revolver lying in the road, according to police.
A 63-year-old man who suffers from undisclosed medical conditions and may become disoriented if contacted went missing Tuesday.
Valuable comparisons and conclusions can be drawn from the types and circumstances of sudden unexpected deaths that occur in San Diego County, and in changes over time.