Crime statistics released

Rapes and homicides rose in San Diego during the first nine months of the year, but the overall crime rate was down 7.6 percent, compared to the same period in 2007, city officials said today.

Rapes and homicides rose from 207 to 278 and from 41 to 45, respectively, according to the Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office.

The overall decrease in the crime rate included a 3.5 percent dip in reported violent crimes, from 4,722 to 4,556, according to the mayor’s office.

Police Chief William Lansdowne, speaking at a news conference outside police headquarters, said most of the rapes that account for the increase involved alcohol abuse and perpetrators who knew their victims.