The San Diego Police Department on Tuesday said 13.1% more crimes of all types were reported in 2021 than in the prior year, an increase that is in line with national trends.
The department’s annual report to the City Council shows 5,875 violent crimes — an increase of 10.8% — and 27,633 property crimes — an increase of 13.6%.
“Police departments across the nation are combatting rises in crime, and although San Diego historically ranks as one of the safest big cities, our city is also seeing an increase in crime,” Chief David Nisleit said, describing the trend as “consistent with that of other major U.S. cities.”
He said the overall crime rate of 23.8 per thousand residents is comparable to the rate in the late-1950s, and the violent crime rate of 4.2 per thousand is comparable to the rate in the mid 1970s.
In 2021 the city counted a total of 57 murders — two more than in 2020. There were 571 rapes, a 17.7% increase, but a 9.6% decline in robberies to 1,091.
Among property crimes, auto thefts rose 24.5% to 6,165 and other thefts increased by 12.7% to 18,075.
The biggest increase over the year was a 77% jump in hate crime reports after the city and county promoted the importance of reporting these types of crimes.
“Despite the challenges facing our department this year as we address reductions in staffing, SDPD remains committed to responding to calls for service, using intelligence-led investigations to catch criminals, and doing proactive police work to prevent crime,” Nislet said.
He noted that San Diego has one of the highest case clearance rates and lowest homicide rates among large U.S. cities.