San Francisco Crime Rates – Pandemic Crime Not Fault of Politicians?

By Paige Laver

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The COVID pandemic has changed and altered so many people’s lives, and its apparently influenced crime rates to reflect differences – some crimes rates are way down, some increased.

While the pandemic isn’t entirely responsible for these changes, but it may well play an important role in the decrease and increase different numerous crimes in San Francisco.

Politicians, like San Francisco District Attorney Boudin, have become advocates to change policies and create new ones that will benefit many communities during the pandemic – they may have solutions, and are not necessarily to be blamed for some increased crime rates.

According to a WBEZ Chicago news source, the city of Chicago had a spike of 50 percent in 2020 homicides and the Chicago police reported 750 more homicide deaths in comparison to 2019.

San Francisco homicides increased slightly but remained lower since the 1960s. Violent crime overall is down.

Where violent crimes seemed to not be as big of an issue, property crime rates plateaued and motor vehicle thefts were up 71 percent in the summer, an increase of 30 percent looking at the entire year, a dramatic increase and problem for many San Francisco residents according to SFist news.

The surge in property crime primarily had to do with which neighborhood San Francisco residents lived in.

In the financial district there was a decrease in motor vehicle theft because many residents moved out of the district; in fact, the neighborhood saw 10 times more households moving out from March 2020- November 2020 then within the same time period in 2019.

There was a surge in the wealthier neighborhoods, and one of the reasons for wealthier neighborhoods being targeted for crime is because many of these neighborhoods exist because of gentrification, which drove out many communities of color.

San Francisco is one of the most gentrified cities in the United States, and the coronavirus pandemic came at a hardship for many residents where many of them were already struggling before the city was put into shelter in place.

Violent crimes were not the only decreased rate of crime. There was a decreased rate of assaults, robberies, and larceny thefts as reported in the SF Chronicle.

Burglary spikes have been seen across all neighborhoods, with the Richmond district seeing a 370 percent spike in burglary, and the city itself has seen an increase of 40 percent of burglary theft, according to a recent article by the SF Chronicle.

Prior to the pandemic, burglaries and thefts would occur in the tourist parts of the city, it has changed to be in wealthier neighborhoods where residents live such as the Marina district and Haight Ashbury.

The problem with the property crimes in San Francisco is they don’t often get solved. Before the pandemic, the arrests for property crimes were at 11.5 percent, and in the pandemic it has decreased to 10 percent.

The crime rates in San Francisco are caused by many factors including mental illness, substance abuse, poverty, and economic declines.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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  1. Chris Griffith

    The problem with the property crimes in San Francisco is they don’t often get solved. 

    Little tidbit of information for you most  property crimes don’t even get reported because you’re not worth reporting they know the cops can’t do anything.

    Valuable lesson I learned and going to San Francisco it’s always roll down your windows when you park and unlock the doors that way the thief has full and complete access to your car so they don’t tear the hell out of it.

    And obviously don’t leave anything in your car

    1. Keith Olsen

      My son was in SF in Golden Gate Park not that long ago when two black men pulled up beside his friend’s car and proceeded to try and break in.  My son and his friend ran towards them and the two thieves jumped back in their car and raced off.  It was not reported.

  2. Eric Gelber

    San Francisco Crime Rates – Pandemic Crime Not Fault of Politicians?

    I’m not sure who’s saying the pandemic crime rate is the fault of politicians. But politicians do set policies and allocate resources. They share responsibility for the failure to effectively address such issues as substance abuse, mental health, poverty, gun control, criminal justice inequities, etc.

  3. petersimon

    An other article where I didn’t learn anything. Always blaming gentrification. Like we have the gentry at our gates. All my life, where ever I lived the only thing I have seen is that prices go up of everything. Every neighbourhoods people moving in, people moving out. Except in poor neighbourhoods faster, much faster as opposed to a place where the houses were constructed from stones. And I have lived 3 different neighborhoods in S.F. since 1991. And every one of them has changed and in those poor neighbourhoods that I am talking about there were as many poor “colorless people” as were those with color.  And everybody were affected just the same. So instead of blaming the Gentry who I am sure, since I have seen it with my own eyes can be of any race because it just means it is somebody who has more money than you and instead of retorting to create racial tension between those who can’t afford to live like a Gentry maybe it is time to look at a system that creates inflation by exploiting excess and greed, Capitalism, and look at it’s vanguards.

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