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La Mesa Sees Slight Jump in Crime Rate in First Half of 2012

But, a new SANDAG report shows that no categories of violent crime had higher occurrences than in 2011.

The FBI index crime rate in La Mesa 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.

La Mesa's 2012 mid-year crime rate stands above the average for the county, with 32.08 crimes reported out of every 1,000 residents in La Mesa, an 2 percent rise from the 2011 mid-year rate, but down 21 percent compared to 2008. 

Also read: La Mesa Crime Rates in and

 The violent crime rate in La Mesa dropped 22 percent compared to the 2011 mid-year numbers. The 90 violent crimes reported is also 23 percent down since 2008. *This includes a lower number of incidents for every violent crime.

(*Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated that both homicides and aggravated assaults were up compared to last year. This is not true. The figures compared were for 2008 and 2011, not 2011 and 2012.)

La Mesa's violent crime rates was one of the only cities to have significant drops across the county. At 3.09 crimes per 1,000 residents, it falls below the county average of 3.70.

As for La Mesa's property crime rate, it's up 5 percent from last year's mid-year rate, but down 20 percent compared to 2008. The rate of 28.99, La Mesa has the third highest property crime rate in the county, and sits well above the county average of 21.38.

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 the 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, 90 in La Mesa.

The agency said that of the 33,599 property crimes reported countywide in the first half of this year, 845 in were in La Mesa.

-City News Service contributed to this report

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