SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Once billed as the safest large city in the nation, a new report by the San Jose City Auditor reveals a significant spike in property crime. The report said the crime rate is now above state and national averages.

City Auditor Sharon Erickson explained the major jump in property crimes, saying that there were 7,000 more reported incidents than there were 10 years ago. She told KCBS, “10 years ago there were about 21,000 property crimes in San Jose. Last year there were about 28,000.”

Violent crime has remained relatively level, with the figure only increasing by about 100 incidents in the same 10-year-period.

Meanwhile, Chief Larry Esquivel of the San Jose Police Department has his sights set on reducing the city’s crime rate.

He said response times for so-called “priority two calls” have jumped to 20 minutes. Esquivel, who was sworn in last week, said reducing property crimes is one of his top priorities.

“Burglaries, the auto thefts, they have decreased here today, but yet there still up a lot and that’s our job; to reduce that. We’re heading that direction, but that’s why I think the stability for us is just extremely important so we can keep our people from leaving for other departments,” he said.

More than 200 officers have left the department over the last three years.

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