Last week, San Diego police released annual statistics showing another year of declining crime levels. The number of major crimes fell citywide by 4 percent from the previous year to 34,813.

That total includes murders, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and vehicle thefts. The last time San Diego police reported fewer, Richard Nixon was the nation’s president.

This week, I took a closer look at how crime changed across San Diego and created the neighborhood-level map below. Though crime went down in most neighborhoods, you can also see where it got worse.

When I first looked at the map, a few trends immediately stood out. Here’s a brief guide to each and a little background about why I find them interesting.

Uptown: Two years ago, police worried about rising crime around the bar scene in North Park and added a bike team to fight it. Last year, their concern expanded to Hillcrest and police added a bike team there, too.

The new stats show that while crime in North Park has fallen, crime in Hillcrest has continued to climb. And it climbed not only in Hillcrest last year, but most surrounding neighborhoods, too.

Beaches: Pacific Beach has always been one of the city’s main hubs for crime. Last year, more than 5 percent of the city’s major crimes happened in Pacific Beach alone.

But the really interesting shift was Mission Beach. Police reported more crimes in the neighborhood than each of the previous three years. Compared to just the previous year, crime spiked by 43 percent.

Gangland: Police say some of San Diego’s most active gangs call Barrio Logan, Lincoln Park and Skyline their homes. In 2011, crime dropped in all three neighborhoods and most of the surrounding area.

East Village: In 2010, one of the city’s biggest crime spikes happened in the East Village. Crime increased by 40 percent from the previous year, but in 2011, the trend turned around. Crime dropped by 18 percent.

These are only my initial thoughts. As you check out the map above, please let me know what you find interesting by posting a comment below. If you prefer to share your thoughts confidentially, please send me an email.

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for He writes about local government, creates infographics and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter (@keegankyle) and Facebook.

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