SDPD says city saw 4.5 percent decrease in violent crime in 2016
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The San Diego City Council is scheduled to hear reports Tuesday from the San Diego Police Department on 2016 crime statistics and the impact of cameras that officers now wear on their uniforms. Overall, crime in San Diego decreased by 2.3 percent in 2016 from the prior year, with violent crime down 4.5 percent.
The lower violent crime rate was mainly the result of a 7.7 percent drop in aggravated assaults, according to the report. Murders increased from 37 to 49, and rapes increased by six to 572. Crimes attributed to gang activity increased slightly, while domestic violence cases fell 7.8 percent. Vehicle thefts climbed by 14.6 percent to 5,839.
The SDPD credits the nearly 1,200 cameras used by officers with reducing the number and intensity of confrontations with members of the public.
According to the data, major complaints from the public against officers — things like discrimination, racial slurs, lack of courtesy or poor service — dropped from 167 in 2013, before the cameras were deployed, to 129 last year. The number of specific allegations within the complaints fell from 341 to 194 over the same period.
Few of the worst complaints ended up being sustained after an investigation, the report said. Meanwhile, 14 percent of lesser complaints were sustained in 2013, compared to 18 percent last year.
Major use of force incidents — an officer’s use of weapons, a carotid restraint, chemical agents or tasers — fell from 3,208 to 2,682 from 2013 to last year. However, lesser incidents — brandishing a weapon, use of physical strength or a taser warning shot — increased from 8,689 to 10,883.