San Diego’s crime rate hits 27-year low

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s crime rate in the first four months of this year was the lowest since at least 1990, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said Friday.

They said crime was down 9.7 percent overall from the same period last year and was lower in all seven major categories.

“As we head into peak travel season, San Diegans and visitors alike can rest assured that our city remains one of the safest in America thanks to the tireless efforts of our police officers,” Faulconer said. “This report shows that our officers are doing an incredible job by protecting the public and forging bonds with residents in all neighborhoods.”

The reductions, which come from already rather low levels for a major city, come despite a long-running recruiting and retention problem that keeps the San Diego Police Department’s uniformed ranks chronically understaffed.

“San Diego is the eighth largest city in the country and we’re home to the largest land border crossing in the western hemisphere and we host millions of visitors each year and despite all of these pressures that out officers face, they prove time and time again that they are the best of the best,” Faulconer said.

“I am incredibly proud of the work that the San Diego Police Department has done and continues to do to keep all of our neighborhood s safe and I know that with continued effort alongside our community they will continue to do the fantastic job that our city is so very, very grateful for and so very proud of,” he said.

According to SDPD data, the drops in major crime categories compared with January-April of last year were:

— murder, 18.2 percent;

— rape, 10.9 percent;

— robbery, 5.7 percent;

— aggravated assault, 2.7 percent;

— burglary 11.3 percent;

— larceny 11.6 percent; and

— auto theft, 6.2 percent.

Overall violent crime was 4.6 percent lower in the first four months of this year, while property crimes were down by 10.5 percent, police said.

“These kinds of reductions don’t happen by luck or by accident, it is because of the courageous hard work by our police officers and our professional civilian staff who are committed and who are focused on keeping San Diego safe,” Zimmerman said.

“We also don’t achieve these outcomes by ourselves,” the chief said. “It is because of the cooperation and collaboration with our law enforcement partners and our community members.”

She said monthly crime statistics used for comparison only go back to 1990.

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