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The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) released the mid-year crime statistics report which showed, overall, crime to be down in all five of the North County cities – Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, and Carlsbad. SANDAG maintains the Automated Regional Justice Information System (ARJIS) which collects data submitted by local police departments and the Sheriff’s Department for all of San Diego County.

The report outlines two major milestones – a year-to-year comparison and a four-year comparison. The report also breaks crime into two parts: violent crime and property crime.

For the county, total crime was down 1% from 2018 and down 8% from 2015. For North County cities, compared to 2015 crime was down 16%, and compared to 2018 crime had dropped by 5%.

Looking at the Five Individual Cities

In all five of the North County cities, keeping in line with the rest of the County, the report shows an increase in violent, Part I crimes and a decrease in lesser-violent, Part II crimes.

Graph detailing reported crimes for five north county jurisdictions


Carlsbad showed an overall <1% increase in crime compared to 2018. Looking more closely at the two categories, the city showed a 12% increase in violent crimes. Carlsbad was the only city of the five to have a positive increase in overall crime reported.


Escondido reported a 9% drop in overall crime compared to 2018. Violent crimes did rise by 10% versus 2018 numbers though there was a 12% decrease in the number of property crimes.

Graph represents the percentage changes in crimes reported from benchmark years


Oceanside numbers did not drop as significantly as those in Escondido. Oceanside reported a 3% increase in violent crimes compared to 2018. There was a decrease in the number of property crimes, but it was a drop of only 2%. Oceanside came in second to Carlsbad (they showed a 1% decrease) in the lowest drop in property crime.

San Marcos

San Marcos showed a substantial drop in overall crime – 18%. Looking at the two categories, San Marcos showed a 19% increase in violent crime offset by a 23% decrease in property crimes.


Vista reported having a 3% decrease in overall crime with a 23% increase in violent crimes compared to 2018 with only a 9% decrease in property crimes.

Changes in Populations

While crime rates varied according to category, the overall crime statistics for North County cities did not increase because of the population changes.

According to the report, population changes from 2015 to 2019 only increased single digits in all five of the cities. Carlsbad showed a 3% increase, 1% for Escondido, 1% in Oceanside, 4% in San Marcos, and Vista showed the highest population increase with 5%.

As the populations increase throughout the North County, the number of crimes seems to be decreasing. The full impact of new populations won’t be seen for a while; the first benchmark will be the full year’s crime statistics report published next year by SANDAG.

For the full report: https://www.sandag.org/uploads/publicationid/publicationid_4620_26491.pdf


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