San Bernardino County sees violent crime rise in 2021

·2 min read
San Bernardino County Sheriff's investigators gather at the scene of a deputy-involved shooting in Victorville on Sept. 4, 2019.
San Bernardino County Sheriff's investigators gather at the scene of a deputy-involved shooting in Victorville on Sept. 4, 2019.

Violent crime in San Bernardino County rose 13% in 2021 compared to 2020, with aggravated assaults increasing the most, according to a report.

Crimes such as murder, manslaughter, rape, and robbery have gone up almost one-third, or 32%, since 2017, while property crime has declined by 34%.

During that period, aggravated assaults — more serious than simple assaults and may involve a weapon or significant injury — increased 145% from 2,184 reported in 2017 to 5,360 reported in 2021.

The statistics are part of an annual crime report released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department this month.

Unincorporated areas of the county have seen a much steeper rise in violent crime than the county as a whole: 96% since 2017.

Aggravated assaults have climbed 210%, while property crime has decreased 30%.

In cities, violent crime has increased by 9% since 2017. Property crime has dropped slightly higher than the county at 36%.

In 2020, the murder rate went up by nearly 30% and assaults by more than 10%, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Murder rates rose roughly equally in cities run by Republicans and Democrats.

San Bernardino County saw a slight drop in violent crime from 2019 to 2020 — 42 fewer crimes committed to total though four more murders were reported — and a 15% decrease in property crime.

However, how the county compared to nationwide crime trends last year will be difficult to analyze.

The Marshall Project reported in June that nearly 40% of law enforcement agencies across the country did not submit data in 2021 to the FBI, which compiles the statistics.

The federal agency switched to a new crime data collection program last year. The new agency reported “large police departments may be wary of” because the system counts slightly more crimes than the old one.

For some High Desert cities, the trends were:

  • Adelanto: Violent crime decreased 12% from 2017 but increased 6% between 2020 and 2021. Property crime has decreased almost 50% from 2017.

  • Apple Valley: Violent crime decreased 7% from 2017 and decreased 7% between 2020 and 2021. Property crime has decreased 48% from 2017.

  • Hesperia: Violent crime increased 1% from 2017 and increased 8% between 2020 and 2021. Property crime has decreased 43% from 2017.

  • Victorville: Violent crime decreased 9% from 2017 but increased 10% between 2020 and 2021. The city saw 20 murders reported in 2021. This is the highest rate since 15 were recorded in 2017 and the most murders in a year for at least 17 years, according to previous sheriff’s crime reports.

Daily Press reporter Martin Estacio may be reached at 760-955-5358 or MEstacio@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_mestacio.

This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: San Bernardino County sees violent crime rise in 2021