City of San Luis Obispo sees a 5-percent reduction in overall crime in 2020
San Luis Obispo releases 2020 police department crime report
–The City of San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) has released its 2020 annual crime report, which details significant progress made in a number of areas such as community outreach, crime, police operations, homelessness, traffic, noise, and downtown.
“2020 was truly unparalleled as the pandemic impacted our community in every aspect of life and the crime data detailed in this report is reflective of that,” said San Luis Obispo Interim Chief Brian Amoroso. “We are pleased to report a 5-percent reduction in overall crime despite the challenges we experienced.”
There were several notable highlights from the 2020 Police Department Crime Report, including:
- An 11-percent decrease in reported sexual assaults; this trend is attributed to the public health orders limiting social gatherings and interactions and bars being closed for a significant portion of the year.
- Property crime decreased by 7-percent attributed to residents being at home which created less opportunity for thefts to occur in the neighborhoods and retail stores closures or reduced hours due to public health orders.
- Traffic-related issues saw a very significant decrease; 51-percent decrease in vehicle collisions, a 39-percent decrease in pedestrian-involved collisions, and a 48-percent decrease in collisions involving bicycles. These decreases can be attributed to the statewide stay-at-home orders.
- DUI arrests decreased by 50-percent which is also attributed to the public health orders regarding bars and restaurants.
- Party-related noise complaints increased by 24-percent after a three-year run of continued decrease. The increase is attributed to more people being at home and increased calls for noise and neighborhood parties during the pandemic and the temporary suspension of party registration.
- Downtown calls for service decreased by 23-percent attributed to the public health order affecting businesses.
- Officers worked over 70 protests, rallies, and marches throughout 2020.
- The number of homelessness calls and complaints increased in 2020 by 4-percent. Homeless-related calls for service accounted for 22-percent of all calls for service citywide which is consistent with 2019 data.
- The Community Action Team (CAT), consisting of an officer and a social worker, continues to work in collaboration with County resources on calls related to mental health and homelessness. Although the pandemic greatly decreased the number of people in downtown, the actions of CAT helped with the 16-percent decrease in downtown homeless calls for service.
- The Investigations Bureau had a 10-percent increase of assigned cases and the Special Enforcement Team (SET) handled multiple complex investigations related to narcotics activity.
- Part 1 violent crime increased by 10-percent (22-percent increase in aggravated assault, but an 18-percent decrease in robbery and 60-percent decrease in attempted sexual assault).
“The violent crime increase is attributed to the increase in aggravated assault,” said Amoroso. “2020 was a very stressful time as people dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, calls for service related to assaults with injury and domestic violence increased. We are hopeful that as the public health restrictions continue to be lifted that those incidents will decrease.”
The department credits its continued educational efforts and outreach programs to the decreasing trend in crimes, homelessness, traffic, noise, and downtown issues, and plans to utilize the same initiatives throughout 2021.