SAN DIEGO — The rate of violent crime in San Diego is the highest the region has seen in a decade, according to a new report by San Diego Association of Governments.

“This report found a 2% increase in overall crime, specifically in violent crime,” SANDAG Principal Criminal Justice Researcher Dr. Octavio Rodriguez Ferreira told FOX 5 Tuesday. “That is a 2% increase from the previous year but still below the national average.”

There was some good news: the report found there was a 9% decrease in homicides and the number of rapes reported to law enforcement was down 12%.   

Robberies had the highest increase among the violent crimes reported with a 10% increase. And aggravated assaults increased for the seventh consecutive year; however, the increase was just 1%.   

“It’s useful for law-enforcement to see themselves comparatively to the region and other jurisdictions,” said Rodriguez, whose job is to analyze the data received from all the jurisdictions that make up San Diego. “It helps to shape their policies to direct resources to whatever they need it, and have a much broader view of crime and an opportunity to rearrange our reanalyze policies and operations.”

There were some startling surprises — increases that reflect what we have seen nationally in terms of racially motivated crimes.

“We saw a couple of things that were negative. We saw an increase in violence against senior citizens it increased by 8% and also we saw an increase in hate crimes, an increase of 9%,” Rodriguez said.

Diving deeper into the different jurisdictions, in North County, Oceanside saw an increase in homicides by one as did Lemon Grove, going from two homicides in 2021 and three in 2022. National City jumped from three in 2021 to seven in 2022, pushing their average well above the regional average to 5.3%.

Residential burglaries decreased by 6% but non-residential burglaries increased by 10%, giving them an average increase of 3%.

“We are below the national average, and that increase is still low relatively to other metropolitan cities of similar size to San Diego,” Rodriguez said. “That is important because San Diego is still one of the safest regions across the country.”