The crime rate in Imperial Beach rose in the first half of 2012 compared to the first six months of 2011, following a countywide trend, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) announced Wednesday.
IB's 2012 mid-year crime rate fell below the average for the county, with 23.38 crimes reported out of every 1,000 residents, a 7 percent rise from the 2011 mid-year rate, but down 32 percent compared to 2008.
The violent crime rate in IB jumped a whopping 12 percent compared to the 2011 mid-year numbers, with 70 violent crimes reported. Rapes doubled from two in 2011 to four this year, robbery rose 33 percent and larceny increased 25 percent.
Rates of aggrivated assault and total burglaries stayed about the same, while motor vehicle theft saw a sharp decline.
Unlike the city's total crime rate, at 5.26 per 1,000 residents, IB's mid-year 2012 violent crime rate is third highest in San Diego county behind Lemon Grove (6.09) and National City (6.55). The county average is 3.7 percent.
As for IB's property crime rate, it's up 5 percent from last year's mid-year rate, but down 36 percent compared to 2008.Homicide Rape Robbery Aggravated Assault Total Burglaries Total Larceny Motor Vehicle Theft Arson Mid-Year 2012 1 4 12 53 52 148 41 0 Mid-Year 2011 0 2 9 51 53 111 64 1
Regionally, the average mid-year violent crime rate rose 8 percent, while the property rate climbed 7 percent in the year-over-year comparison, according to SANDAG. Though higher than last year's mid-year crimes rates, this year's tallies are lower countywide than any year between 2003 and 2010.
It's too early to tell if this year's uptick is temporary or if it's the beginning of a trend, according to Cynthia Burke, director of criminal justice research for SANDAG.
"We have enjoyed historic lows in crime rates over the past decade, so it's not entirely surprising that the numbers are now going up," Burke said in a statement.
According to SANDAG, a total of 5,808 violent crimes were reported to law enforcement in the county between January and June, 70 in IB.
The agency said that of the 33,599 property crimes reported countywide in the first half of this year, 241 in were in IB.
City News Service contributed to this report.