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San Diego Crime Rate Up, Statistics Show

Posted on: 11th Apr, 2013

The City of San Diego has published its latest crime statistics, and they reveal an increase in overall crime of 6.9% based upon the number of crimes committed per 100,000 residents. This is the second consecutive year which the rate went up.

The news is filled with potential reasons for the increase, the most voiced explanation being that the San Diego Police Department has been downsized. This is the primary cause of the increase, according to SDPD Chief William Landsdowne, who says that he has had to cut the Department’s budget in each of the last eight years. We suppose budget cuts represent an easy target, but before we reach any conclusions, we thought we’d take a closer look at the figures. Here are some facts that may shed a different light on what some might see as a big two-year surge in crime in our city:

  • The increase in the crime rate between 2010 and 2011 was due largely to a decrease in the city’s population. The number of crimes actually decreased during that period by over 4%.
  • The number of crimes committed annually over the last 30 years in San Diego was lower, and in most cases substantially lower, in 2012 than in any year prior to 2009.
  • Over the past eight years (lean years for the SDPD budget, according to the Chief), the number of crimes went down each year prior to 2012.
  • In 2012, by far, the largest increase came under the heading of property crime. Among all the other categories, including murder, rape, robbery, violent crime, burglary, and vehicle theft, there were only 425 more crimes committed in 2012 than in 2011.

We suppose it is possible that the decrease in police manpower has had or will have an effect on crime. But we think that it is a mistake to jump to conclusions about (a) the cause of any increase, as well as (b) the significance of what might appear at first glance to be troubling figures. The truth is that the crime rate, either by percentage of the population or purely by number of crimes committed, is way down when compared to the overall period of the past several decades. No one can be absolutely certain which factor or factors played a role in the increase this year. But the slight rise in 2012 could just as easily be attributed to the economic recession as to a decrease in police presence.

Law Offices of David Shapiro
3555 4th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 295-3555

About David Shapiro

A native of New York City, David graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies in 2003 and thereafter attended Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana where he earned his Juris Doctor in 2006. Read More...