SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Association of Governments on Tuesday released its annual crime report which showed an increase in violent crimes in San Diego County, including homicide, rape, and aggravated assault.

According to SANDAG officials, homicides were up 3% in 2021, while reported rapes increased by 11% and aggravated assaults grew by 12%. Despite the increase in these crimes, officials say that robberies in the San Diego area hit a 42-year low last year.

“While the 2021 crime rates are historic lows for our region, violent and property crimes were up last year,” said SANDAG Senior Director of Data Science Dr. Cynthia Burke. “By using the data that SANDAG has collected over the past four decades, we have a much better understanding of crime patterns throughout our communities, helping public safety agencies and policymakers develop reduction strategies that more effectively address what is happening today.”

Property crime rates were up 9% last year, with officials saying that nearly one in every 68 residents being affected by criminals. However, SANDAG says that despite the increase from 2020 to 2021, property crime rates were the second-lowest they have been since 1980. Experts estimate that an average of more than $650,000 was stolen per day in 2021 while less than one-third of the property was ever recovered.

In line with robberies, burglaries also reached a new low in 2021, which officials say is part of a nine-year downward trend.

Other findings by SANDAG in the 2021 report include:

  • 18% decrease in arson
  • 3% increase in reported domestic violence
  • 71% increase in the theft of motor vehicle parts, most commonly including catalytic converters
  • 10% increase in violent crime against the elderly
  • 18% increase in aggravated assaults with a firearm

In March, San Diego police released crime statistics for the city, reporting that overall crime was up 13% in 2021.

“Police departments across the nation are combatting rises in crime, and although San Diego historically ranks as one of the safest big cities, our City is also seeing an increase in crime,” San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said in March. “Despite the challenges facing our department this year as we address reductions in staffing, SDPD remains committed to responding to calls for service, using intelligence-led investigations to catch criminals, and doing proactive police work to prevent crime.”