SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – According to a report released Tuesday by the San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego County’s criminal arrest rates decreased 14% in 2020 and misdemeanor arrest rates decreased 38% compared to 2019.
The report also found that in 2020 blacks were overrepresented in all arrest categories and Hispanic Americans were overrepresented in some relative to their respective proportions of the population. White people and those representing “other” races / ethnicities were generally underrepresented, according to the results.
“These data clearly show that 2020 was an unprecedented year for arrests in the San Diego area,” said Cynthia Burke, SANDAG director of research and program management. “A number of factors could have contributed to these significant declines, including a nationwide stay-at-home order that offered fewer opportunities for crime and fewer contacts between potential victims and assigned reporters such as teachers.”
Arrest rates hit a seven-year low for both adults and teenagers in 2020. Average daily arrests for adults fell to 163, down from 237 in 2019. However, around a third of arrests were at the crime level in 2020, up from around a quarter in 2016.
Among adults, arrests for violent crimes fell the least between 2019 and 2020, at 11%, while “other” crimes fell the most at 41%. Among juveniles, arrests for property crimes fell the least – 13% – while arrests for gun crimes fell the most at 45%.
“Although the number of arrests has largely decreased, four types of adult arrests saw double-digit increases by one year, including crime, arson, murder, other drug crimes and narcotics,” the report said. “Young people arrested have seen an increase in burglary and vehicle theft.”
The jurisdictions with the lowest arrest rates in 2020 were Carlsbad and Solana Beach, and the highest were Escondido and El Cajon.