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The total number of violent crimes committed in San Diego in the first six months of this year dropped from last year.

Overall, violent crime has been dropping in San Diego since 2003. But those drops have not been across the board, with the number of robberies citywide increasing in that period and the number of homicides remaining relatively steady.

Four types of crime are included in the city’s total for violent crimes: Homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Unsurprisingly, there are many more aggravated assaults than anything else. The next most prevalent violent crime is robbery, followed by rape and then homicide.

If you compare the number of violent crimes committed in the first six months of each of the last five years, a few things become clear:

  • Between 2004 and 2005, the number of aggravated assaults committed dropped significantly — from 2,496 to 2,102. Since 2005, aggravated assaults have been dropping steadily.
  • During the same period, total violent crimes have followed the same pattern — a sharp drop in 2003 followed by a steady decline.
  • Over the five-year period, however, homicides have remained pretty steady. Apart from a noticeable spike in homicides in the first six months of 2006, the number of homicides has hovered around 30 for the first half of each of the last five years. This year’s 29 homicides is up slightly from five years ago, when there were 28.
  • The number of rapes in the city in the first six months of each year has fallen steadily and significantly for the last five years. This year there were 129 rapes from January to June, compared to 203 rapes in the first six months of 2003.
  • The number of robberies committed in the first six months of each year has been rising steadily since 2004. This year there were 1,004 robberies from January to June, compared to 841 in 2003 and 802 in 2004.

Therefore, while the total number of violent crimes in the first six months of each year has been dropping since 2003, a closer look at the statistics shows a mixed bag for violent crime in the city as a whole. While rapes and aggravated assaults have seen significant drops, homicides remain level and the number of robberies has increased.

On one other note, a police department spokeswoman told me there have been seven reported homicides in San Diego since the beginning of the month. That’s pretty standard for July.

WILL CARLESS

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