San Diego’s crime rate has continued its two-year decline, leading the city to the lowest crime rate in almost 50 years, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Overall, the newspaper reported a 7% decline in crime between 2016 and 2017. This followed a 2.3% decline between 2015 and 2016. According to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, the drop in crime rates was the result of increased trust between the community and the police officers along with an increased use of crime data and technology, which enabled the city to allocate its resources more efficiently.
The largest drop in crime rates in the city was among some of the most violent crimes, to the delight of San Diego residents. Murder rates fell a full 32% between 2016 and 2017, with only 34 homicides reported in the last year. The other two crimes with the largest drop include burglary, dropping 20%, and vehicle theft, with 12% fewer in the same time period. Overall, violent crime fell 2% and property crime fell 8% between 2016 and 2017.
According to the Mayor and the police department, the sharp reduction in homicides, including murder and manslaughter, may be attributable to “Shotspotter,” a new technology that “automatically informs police officers when shootings occur,” according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. After crime data revealed that the southeastern communities of San Diego, including Lincoln Park, O’Farrell, Skyline, and Valencia Park, were most likely to experience gun violence, the “Shotspotter” system was set up in the area. Since 2016, there have not been any deaths by gun violence in those areas. The Chief of San Diego Police attributed the drop in property crime to an undercover operation lasting eight months last year, leading to the indictment of 60 San Diego residents.
San Diego is not the only city in the area, or in the state of California, to see a reduction in crime rates. Escondido, notably, saw a 21% decline in the overall crime rate during the first half of 2017, the time period with the most recent data available according to the newspaper. According to Escondido Lt. Ed Varso, most of that reduction consists of a 24.2% reduction in property crimes caused by the police departments “proactive stance” to California’s criminal justice reform initiatives stemming from the passage of Proposition 47, which was approved by California voters in November 2014.
Proposition 47 significantly reduced penalties for non-violent, low-level crimes that occurred in the state of California, including shoplifting, grand theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, fraud, writing a bad check, and personal use of most illegal drugs. The reduction only applied to those crimes of theft below $950. The law, which went into effect in January 2015, allowed over 1 million Californians to change past felony convictions to lower-level misdemeanors.
The other nearby cities of Vista, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, El Cajon, and Oceanside saw a reduction in the crime rate, albeit a smaller one, when comparing the first half of 2016 and the first half of 2017.
San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer
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