Crime rate a mixed bag with fewer property crimes, more domestic violence in Carlsbad

Carlsbad — Police officials were applauding an overall decrease in reported crimes in 2009 compared to 2008, although violent crimes, mainly related to domestic abuse, increased.

Overall crime decreased 15 percent in 2009 at Carlsbad compared to 2008, according to the FBI Crime Index, said Lynn Diamond, a spokeswoman for the Carlsbad Police Department.

The total number of FBI index crimes decreased from 2,584 in 2008 to 2,195 in 2009, the lowest crime index figure since 2001, Diamond said. This number, in fact, was the lowest in more than two decades, she added.

The report, released earlier this year, was “good news for Carlsbad,” said police Chief Tom Zoll. “Residents should feel very safe living in our community.”

Crime rate figures showed a 19 percent decrease in property crimes, from 2,358 in 2008 to 1,908 in 2009, according to the FBI. Larceny dropped 20 percent, while a 29 percent drop in stolen vehicles meant fewer vehicles were stolen than in any year since 1983, Diamond said.

It wasn’t all good news for Carlsbad residents. Violent crime, mainly domestic violence, increased. This category includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Such crimes increased from 226 in 2008 to 287 in 2009.

The violent crime rate of 2.7 percent rose from 2.2 percent, a rate considered “comparatively small” by Carlsbad officials. Most of the violent crime increase was due to an increase in aggravated assaults involving domestic violence and general battery, officials said.

“With an increase in domestic violence, we want to remind residents of the

numerous resources in the community for families in crisis,” Zoll said. “Residents should continue to take precautions to reduce the chance of  being a victim of crime. Working together, we can maintain the safe quality of life citizens of Carlsbad have enjoyed for many years.”

— Dan Weisman


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