San Diego crime report says violent crimes are down, murder rate is up

(San Diego) San Diego city leaders say the violent crime rate has dropped to its lowest level in more than 40-years. However, the same report shows murders up over 30% compared to last year, and rape and robbery are up as well.

San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman says they can’t explain the spike in killings other than the string of attacks on the homeless that occurred last summer.

“There was not a pattern except for the killer we took off the streets and that was our highest priority when that was happening,” says San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.

Most of the murders in 2016 occurred in the southeastern part of the city. After that mid-city had the next highest rate.

The chief says the department will use this information to try and cut down crime in problem areas.

“As we move our resources around, it’s to make sure that we’re able to respond to those types of incidents,’ adds Chief Zimmerman.

The report shows that violent crime has decreased overall because the number of aggravated assaults, by far the most common violent crime, dropped significantly. Police also say new programs and technology, such as body cameras and community policing, have helped make the city safer.

“Whether it’s through ride-alongs, whether it’s through attending community meetings or taking parts in neighborhood events, our officers are continuing doing this outreach and keeping the lines of communication open, it’s what’s community policing is all about,” says San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

The Police Chief also says more police officers are needed on the streets. There are currently 200-open positions in the department.

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