Nearly All Major Crimes Increased Last Year In San Diego, Police Say

Biggest increases seen in hate crimes, which saw a 77 percent spike, and vehicle thefts, which increased 25 percent. The increases mirror those seen across the country.

SAN DIEGO — 

The city of San Diego saw increases in nearly every category of major crime in 2021, police officials said, mirroring a trend seen in other large cities across the nation.

Police leaders presented the findings at a San Diego City Council meeting on Tuesday.

Across the city, crime increased about 13 percent, according to the latest figures. The year’s violent crime rate of 4.2 crimes per thousand residents was the highest the city had seen in nearly a decade, and the property crime rate of 19.6 crimes per thousand residents was the highest since 2016, department officials said.

Vehicle thefts spiked 25 percent when compared with 2020 figures, and rapes increased by 18 percent. Aggravated assaults and thefts also saw double-digit jumps, while burglary and homicides rose a couple of percentage points each. Many of the increases persisted when comparing 2021 and 2019 — the year before the coronavirus pandemic prompted widespread lockdowns.

Hate crimes also saw a 77 percent increase last year, a surge that alarmed council members.

Robbery was the only major crime to see a decrease, falling about 10 percent when compared with 2020.

San Diego police Chief David Nisleit said the havoc wrought by the pandemic likely fueled some of last year’s increases — both locally and nationally.

“It’s COVID. It’s people being out of work, kids being out of school, just the anger and the frustration levels of everything over the last two years,” Nisleit said. “I think we need to acknowledge the last two years have been difficult on everybody.”

Still, experts say crime in San Diego remains at near-historic lows when compared with the rates seen in the 1980s and 1990s. Both violent and property crime rates have held fairly steady over the last decade, and, despite the increases seen in 2021, current crime rates are comparable to the late 1950s, when the city’s population was much smaller, police officials said.

Click here to read the full article at the San Diego Union Tribune

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