Pacific Beach continues to be one of San Diego's highest crime neighborhoods, according to new stats released by the San Diego Police Department.
Public records indicate the beachside entertainment hotspot ranked in the top five in rapes, assaults, and home and auto thefts last year.
During 2017, the police department logged 26 rape cases in Pacific Beach, only one behind East Village during the same time; Hillcrest had the third highest, followed by Mission Valley East, and North Park.
In regards to aggravated assaults, Pacific Beach again finished second to East Village with 113 reported cases; East Village had 198; downtown's Core Columbia neighborhood had 109, Logan Heights had 97, and North Park had 87.
Pacific Beach had the highest of all San Diego neighborhoods for residential burglaries. Police investigated a total of 121 cases; North Park had the second most (114), followed by La Jolla (85), Mira Mesa (73), and Rancho Bernardo (69).
In fact, Pacific Beach has the highest number of residential and non-residential burglaries in San Diego.
Lastly, the community had the second highest number of car thefts as well, 52 less than San Ysidro; again, North Park was close behind with 148 thefts, followed by Mira Mesa (118), and East Village (108).
Marcie Becket from SavePB.org. blames much of the violent crime on the abundance of alcohol licenses in Pacific Beach.
"[Pacific Beach] has consistently ranked in the top 3 communities for crime," wrote Becket in a February 11 email. "However, residential neighborhoods [in Pacific Beach] have very low violent crime. Most of the violent crime is alcohol-related and occurs in the ‘bar-district,’ which encompasses several blocks on Garnet Avenue and Mission Blvd. In that area there are 10 times more alcohol licenses than allowed by state guidelines."
In order to start cutting down on violent crime, Becket says the city needs to act. She says other cities have taken responsibility for issuing alcohol licenses away from the state and made it a local decision. Several community groups have suggested San Diego do the same without any luck.
"City Officials have ignored these requests and just keep throwing police at the problem, which doesn't address the underlying cause and which also diverts police resources from other communities. The police are doing the best job they can under impossible circumstances."