Opinion: Crime in SF Isn’t As Bad As It’s Being Made Out To Be

Opinion: Crime in SF Isnt As Bad As Its Being Made Out To Be

Nuha Maflahi, Reporter

It seems to be all over the news lately. Robberies and shootings seem to be more frequent than ever in the Bay Area, especially in cities like San Francisco and Oakland. There seems to be a new crime every day for the news to report, and even upper-class people can’t escape it. The death of the founder of Cashapp, Bob Lee made headlines all over the nation and put a spotlight on San Francisco and its supposed “increase in crime.” Even Elon Musk put out a tweet saying crime in San Francisco is “horrific.” So, how much has crime risen?

Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a dramatic increase in crime in the Bay Area as people may be thinking. According to statistics from the City and Council of San Francisco’s official website, cases of aggravated assault are at the same level as in pre-pandemic years. There were around 51,000 cases of larceny (the most common form of theft) in 2022 compared to the around 64,000 cases a year pre-pandemic. San Francisco had 55 homicides in 2022. Other cities in the U.S. that are the same size as San Francisco have had higher homicide rates. Denver had 88 homicides in 2022 and Nashville 108, much higher than San Francisco’s homicide rate, and yet San Francisco is the one being labelled as a crime-ridden city. In fact, crime in San Francisco has been declining for the past decade. In 2021 Oakland had 129 homicides; in 2022 it had 113 homicides, a 12 percent decrease. So, in reality, crime hasn’t been going up, only people’s perception of it. The people have been paying more attention to crime in the Bay Area or the news has been covering it more or maybe a combination of both. But with crime in San Francisco and Oakland getting a spotlight and the incident in Home Depot, people may think that crime is on the rise in the Bay Area when it isn’t.

And despite the fact that many people perceive San Francisco as a crime-ridden city, people are still moving to San Francisco. From 2020 to 2021 San Francisco had one of the highest population declines. After that, though, the number of people leaving dropped significantly, specifically in July 2022. Only 12,000 people left San Francisco in 2022, a massive drop from the 48,000 that left in 2020. Over the past year, workers have begun to move to San Francisco; San Francisco had the second-biggest worker population gain in the U.S. It’s crucial to recognize this because San Francisco specifically has been getting a bad reputation from the nation, but it’s important to note that San Francisco is actually doing pretty well when compared to other cities in the United States. Plans are being made to improve the issues in San Francisco and the Bay Area in general so it’s not all doom and gloom. In times like these when it seems like everything is going all downhill, it’s important to first look at the statistics and keep a hopeful view of everything happening.