The homicide total rose 51 percent in San Diego County during the first half of this year, but thefts, burglaries and other property crimes decreased, says the San Diego Union-Tribune. Authorities said the increase in violent crime – most likely the result of a rise in gang and drug activity – mirrors a nationwide trend in recent years. Cindy Burke of the San Diego Association of Governments, which compiled the report, said, “A lot of other jurisdictions are seeing a rise in violent crime.”
Despite the slight increase from last year, the violent-crime rate in San Diego County remains significantly lower than it was in the mid-1990s. In 1997, there were 6.6 violent crimes – defined as homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults – for every 1,000 people. For the first half of 2006, the rate was 4.4 per 1,000. There were 65 homicides in San Diego County during the first six months of this year compared with 43 during the same period last year. Robberies were up 12 percent from last year; rapes dropped 10 percent and aggravated assaults dropped 2 percent.