Monday, 19 September 2011

Data Indicates Spike in Criminal Activity in San Francisco Bay Area

Experts are pointing to a number of reasons for a spike in criminal activity in some San Francisco Bay Area cities. In most other cases, police believe that cutbacks in law enforcement are to blame for this increase. However, in some of the cities, an increase in law enforcement has actually led to an increase in crime. For instance, In Richmond, the crime rates have increased even though the city has added to its police force.

In Oakland, there was an increase in firearms assaults by 31% to 361 incidents in the period ending September 1. That was an increase from 276 incidents during the same period of time last year. According to city records, the number of homicides in Oakland also increased to 74 incidents during the same time, a 25% increase.

In San Jose, there were 26 homicides, an increase of 70% through July. Robberies were up 9% to a total of 598 incidents this year. In Richmond, homicides increased to 21 incidents this year, a 75% increase.

The increase in crime in these San Francisco Bay Area cities has surprised law enforcement, because it comes after a three-year period of decline in reported crimes. In 2010, the number of violent crimes fell by 7.2% from the previous year.
However, not everything is as bleak as law enforcement would have you believe.

Overall crime rates in the cities of Richmond, Oakland and San Jose are actually down from 2007 and 2008. There has been a sharp decline in the certain crimes like property crimes, including auto theft and burglary. Additionally, the increase in crime is not consistent across the Bay Area. Many Bay Area cities including San Francisco have seen a decline in violent crime. In San Francisco, violent crime decreased by 5% to a total of 4,476 incidents this year.

This decline has mirrored the overall decline in crime rates in California. Violent crime rates in California fell 6% between 2009 and 2010. Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers are also aware of a drop in violent crime rates in Los Angeles this year, an estimated 18% decline.

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