SAN DIEGO — America’s Finest City is also one of the safest in country, according to annual crime statistics.

The San Diego Police Department announced Thursday that last year’s data has revealed an overall decrease of 7.5%, which authorities say is one of the lowest violent crime rates among the nation’s largest cities.

When taking a deeper look at the data, there are annual decreases in four of the seven categories that are considered when compiling the statistics. SDPD says those violent crimes categories include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault and by property crimes like burglary, theft and vehicle theft.

Data shows San Diego saw decreases in both murder and rape, with a slight increase in violent crime due to upticks in robbery and aggravated assault. The statistics also show property crimes had a 9.7% decrease overall.

Other decreases include hate crime reports, which went down 17.4 %, and crimes committed by gang members, which went down 17%, according to the data.

Here’s a breakdown by category for San Diego’s 2022 annual crime statistics:

 Overall Crime Jan. – Dec. Overall Crime Jan. – Dec. % Change 2021-2022
Aggravated Assault4,1564,2041.2%
  Violent Crimes5,8756,0432.9%
Vehicle Theft6,1656,3252.6%
  Property Crimes27,63324,954-9.7%
(Statistics provided by the  San Diego Police Department)

*SDPD says two additional homicides occurred in the City of San Diego in 2021, however, per Uniform Crime Reporting guidelines they were officially reported statistically by California.

These stats come as the police department faces staffing shortages with officers leaving the force. SDPD is about 200 officers short on staff, and Mayor Todd Gloria says recruitment efforts are underway.

“We’ve upped the city’s budget for recruitment and retention by bringing officers pay in line with other regional agencies, recruitment bonuses and other measures to attract officers to come work for America’s Finest City,” Gloria said at a news conference Thursday.

“Despite the challenges facing the San Diego Police Department last year, SDPD officers, investigators and support staff were dedicated to protecting our City,” said San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit. “San Diego remains one of the safest big cities in the nation and we can never take that for granted. SDPD will continue to focus on proactively preventing crimes before they occur and investigating cases to their full extent to bring justice for our communities.”

The San Diego Police Officers Association questioned the report, saying the decrease in overall crime is related to the decrease of theft reported by the public. In a statement, the association said response times have skyrocketed with wait times up to 2 hours and citizens just don’t have the time to wait that long to report theft.

According to officials, SDPD compiles and submits their data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting program that collects data from departments across the U.S.

SDPD will present the annual crime data to the San Diego City Council next month.

FOX 5’s Christelle Koumoué contributed to this report.