Law enforcement agencies across the county are solving murders more often than previous years and police say one factor behind that trend is fewer gang-related cases. A new study from the San Diego Association of Governments helps quantify that trend.

Sandag researchers examined the county’s 75 homicides last year and identified a motive behind 54. Of those cases, they found 26 percent were gang-related. A similar study two years ago found 40 percent of the county’s homicides were gang-related.

Homicide detectives say the drop in gang-related homicides has boosted how often they can solve cases. With fewer cases involving a web of gang rivalries and uncooperative witnesses, police say they have more time to focus on other cases.

Law local enforcement agencies have pointed to federal grants targeting gang activity and curfew sweeps as factors behind the decline in gang violence. The curfew sweeps aim to prevent teens from committing crimes or becoming victims in neighborhoods with high gang activity.

To read the full Sandag study, which includes more statistics about homicides last year, click here.

Please contact Keegan Kyle directly at keegan.kyle@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5668 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/keegankyle.

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