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Who Done it?
Dave Druker | 10th Street

“Nothing’s wrong. I just wanted to see how it felt to put my foot on a running board again.” Cartoon John Dempsey.
Click on photo to enlarge.

An article on crime in Del Mar written for last month’s Sandpiper used the crimes per 1000 figure to support the notation that Del Mar has a crime problem. The crimes per 1000 statistic is inappropriate for describing crime in Del Mar due to the small permanent population in Del Mar. On an annual basis Del Mar has more than 5 million visitors –

1 million attending the annual county fair
1 million attending the horse races
1 million attending non-fair and horse race events
1 million visiting the beach
1 million driving through Del Mar to go to work.

On a daily basis that makes Del Mar’s population increase by 13,700 people (5 million divided by 365 days), an increase of 323%. In comparison, the County of San Diego has 34.4 million visitors on an annual basis or an average of 93,000 per day – an increase of 2.85%.

If ones uses an adjusted population of 17,000 (13,700 plus 4,000 residents) Del Mar has a property crime per thousand of 9.81 vs 41.53 for a rank of 24 out of 27 reporting entities (only 4S Ranch, Ramona and Spring Valley have lower rates) and a violent crime per thousand of 0.56 vs 2.36 for a rank of 26 out of 27 (only 4S Ranch has a lower rate).

One of the chief complaints about the Sheriff is the lack of responsiveness. There is no argument about the Sheriff response time to priority 3 or 4 incidents. What is interesting is that the Sheriff has the highest arrest rate for crimes committed in Del Mar. In a SANDAG study, Del Mar rates number 2 in 2010 with an arrest rate of 60%, 2 in 2013 with an arrest rate of 48% and 1 in 2014 with an arrest rate of 53%. In 2010 and 2013 Imperial Beach had a higher arrest rate.

As we discuss whether to create a Del Mar Police Force, let’s use statistics and arguments that accurately reflect crime in Del Mar.


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