Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Soaring Crime Rates

In Oakland this year, crime rates have soared but no one has given any explanation.
Last night on the shitty evening news, Oakland's police chief spoke about reasons why a State of Emergency should be initiated to allow more desk officers to work on the streets. The Police Association is against the decision to declare a State of Emergency, stating reasons like disruption of officer's schedules. That excuse struck me as both weak and offensive.

My friends were held up at gun point outside their apartment last Friday. They live on a quiet and relatively safe street, or so they thought. The police will never find the two men who did it.
There are car breakins so often in this town, that everyone expects that their car will be looked-over for any small item of worth almost once or twice a week, if not more.

Citizens of Oakland put on a demonstration a week or so back, protesting against the rising levels of crime in Oakland and the lack of action put forth by the Oakland Police Department or the City in creating a game plan to reduce it.

The whole situation makes me so angry because it just makes Oakland look bad, when in fact Oakland is a great city for many reasons. There are a lot of good people living in Oakland, trying to make ends meet or keep their business running.

In 2004, there were 5151 reported violent crimes, 83 murders, 262 rapes, 2190 and 2616 aggravated assaults. There were 22185 "property crimes" 4324 of which were burglaries, 10984 larceny/theft and 6877 motor vehicle thefts. In addition, there were 266 arsons.
Statistics found at: http://oaklandca.areaconnect.com/crime1.htm

Also, if you compare San Francisco to Oakland, Oakland's crime rate is still much much higher than San Francisco.

Oakland is also much higher than Los Angeles in almost every category except Assault, where Los Angeles beats Oakland.

These comparisons are based on number of crimes per 100,000 people. Los Angeles is a much bigger city, so of course the total number of each crime is higher but not as a percentage per 100,000 people.

I'd be curious to know if any other cities around the nation have had similar increases in crime in the past year? Are there reasons that have been put forth to explain the increase?


Renegade Eye said...

Interesting post. Not often spoke about topic, since "Clinton police," were hired. The time when he moved the loyalty of police depts to the Democrats.

Jae said...

Good old Ren -- he always sees the big - political - picture. But, crime has always been best explained to my by Malcolm X's question: 'How can you have an effect with no cause?' Be it drug gangs expanding territory, more people using drugs or just a damn bad economy, people will react aberrantly when there are aberrant conditions. I'm not giving criminals a free pass -- I've been held up at gunpoint -- it's just that macro causes have micro effects.