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Report: Mixed Numbers in Local Arrest Rate

San Diego County CA— Over the past five years, the adult felony arrest rate in San Diego County increased by 8 percent while misdemeanor DUI arrests declined by 31 percent, according to the latest report compiled by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division.

The report, titled Arrests 2013: Law Enforcement Response to Crime in the San Diego Region [Link], found that San Diego County had the state’s second highest arrest rate for adults and the state’s highest arrest rate for juveniles. Table 5 (Page 14) of the report compares San Diego County to four other large counties throughout California, as well as to the state as a whole. This report includes a complete breakdown of arrests by jurisdiction, as well as by type. A one-page summary of the findings is available here.

The felony arrest trend in San Diego County is one of the most striking findings in the report. In 2009, felonies represented 28 percent of all adult arrests. Last year, they represented 35 percent. Felony-level arrests for dangerous drugs (which include offenses related to methamphetamine, depressants and hallucinogens) increased 54 percent between 2009 and 2013. Over the same period, other drug offenses (which include prescription drug abuse) increased 30 percent, and narcotics offenses (which include heroin) increased 20 percent. Also on the rise were felony-level arrests of adults for burglary and motor vehicle theft.

“In the wake of public safety realignment, local law enforcement agencies have stepped up their supervision and monitoring of offenders who have serious criminal histories,” SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Director Dr. Cynthia Burke said. “Their increased vigilance may be one of the reasons why felony arrests are going up in the region.”

ADULT ARREST RATES BY JURISDICTION
Change Change
2009 2012 2013 2009-2013 2012-2013
Carlsbad 24.5 22.9 20.6 -16% -10%
Oceanside 45.7 34.7 34.4 -23%   2%
Vista 38.8 48.1 48.3 24% -1%
NOTES: Rates includes felony and misdemeanor arrests. The populations used to calculate adult arrest rates include individuals 18 years and older.
Camp Pendleton population is not included in the total rates.
SOURCES: California Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center; California Department of Finance; SANDAG, Demographic/Economic
Estimates, December 2013

ADULT FELONY ARREST RATES BY JURISDICTION
Change Change
2009 2012 2013 2009-2013 2012-2013
Carlsbad 6.9 8.3 7.9 14% -5%
Oceanside 13.8 11.5 12.0 -13% 4%
Vista 15.1 21.1 22.6 49% 7%
NOTES: The populations used to calculate adult arrest rates include individuals 18 years and older. Rates per 1,000 adults are not compared if
either comparison number of arrests is 30 or less. Camp Pendleton population is not included in the total rates.
SOURCES: California Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center; California Department of Finance; SANDAG,
Demographic/Economic Estimates, December 2013

JUVENILE ARREST RATES BY JURISDICTION
Change Change
2009 2012 2013 2009-2013 2012-2013
Carlsbad 48.6 17.1 22.4 -54% 13%
Oceanside 68.8 40.7 28.2 -59% -31%
Vista 63.2 50.8 40.3 -36% -21%
NOTES: The populations used to calculate juvenile arrest rates include individuals 10-17 years. Rates per 1,000 youth are not compared if either
comparison number of arrests is 30 or less. Camp Pendleton population is not included in the total rates.
SOURCES: California Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center; California Department of Finance; SANDAG,
Demographic/Economic Estimates, December 2013

 


JUVENILE FELONY ARREST RATES BY JURISDICTION
Change Change
2009 2012 2013 2009-2013 2012-2013
Carlsbad 17.0 5.7 8.5 -50% 48%
Oceanside 17.9 11.5 8.4 -53% -27%
Vista 18.6 16.6 12.5 -33% -24%
NOTES: The populations used to calculate juvenile arrest rates include individuals 10-17 years. Rates per 1,000 youth are not compared if either
comparison number of arrests is 30 or less. Camp Pendleton population is not included in the total rates.
SOURCES: California Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center; California Department of Finance; SANDAG,
Demographic/Economic Estimates, December 2013

Another noteworthy finding in the report is the dramatic decline in misdemeanor DUI arrests. Last year, an average of 33 adults were arrested each day for driving under the influence – the most common reason an adult in San Diego County was arrested. This represents a significant decline from five years ago, when the daily number of DUI arrests for adults was 47.

As the regional clearinghouse for crime statistics, SANDAG prepares bi-annual reports on crime and annual reports on arrests. Crime data from local law enforcement are compiled and include seven crimes tracked in a standardized way and reported to the FBI.