San Diego is a lot more than simply one of California’s most desirable and talked about towns. With a booming population nearly 1.5 million people strong, it is also currently the eighth largest city in the entire United States, as well as the second largest city in the state of California. San Diego is famous and desirable for a multitude of reasons including its beautiful beaches and its balmy climate. However, it is best known for being considered the “birthplace of California”. It was first acquired by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo for Spain in the year 1542 and the rest is West Coast history. However, San Diego isn’t all walks on the beach and fascinating culture. As is the case with any major U.S. city, San Diego comes attached to its own share of crime as well. How well does San Diego stack up as a safe place to live? Which crimes are the most prevalent there and how do things look in regards to the future?
A Closer Look at San Diego Crime Rates
While all large cities are going to see at least some crime, most in the U.S. are currently enjoying a decrease in crime rates overall. In the year 2013, San Diego was actually ranked as the 20th safest city in the entire country by the good folks at Business Insider. However, there have been steeper drops in the rates of some types of crime than others.
Violent crimes like rape and murder have declined drastically, for instance. In fact, they dropped by a whopping 12% between 2002 and 2006 alone. However, it’s important to note that property crimes have actually risen by a small amount – about 1%. Even so, the overall rates of property crime in San Diego were well lower than the national average. Even in regards to ultra-violent crimes like murders, San Diego still had the lowest murder rate of the ten largest American cities as of data collected in 2013.
San Diego and Current DUI Statistics
Of course, everyone immediately thinks of offenses like theft, murder, and rape when someone says the word “crime”… but what about offenses like driving under the influence? During the year 2005 alone, nearly 17,000 Americans were killed in an accident related to drunk driving. Nearly 4500 auto-related deaths occurred in California alone in 2005 and an estimated 40% of those were the direct result of someone’s decision to drive drunk.
As for San Diego in particular, driving under the influence is just as much of a problem there as it is anywhere else thanks to factors like a lack of access to sufficient public transportation options. However, DUI rates on the whole are improving. In 2012, the California Highway Patrol reported about 69 DUI arrests across the entirety of San Diego Country just over Labor Day weekend. However, even those numbers are a big improvement over numbers from the same weekend the year before – a total of 91 DUI arrests over Labor Day weekend 2011.
That said, San Diego has many of the same challenges as other large U.S. cities when it comes to crime. However, in the grand scheme of things, statistics appear to be headed in the right direction overall.