San Francisco’s Out of Control Crime No Longer Deniable

The Wall Street Journal is out this morning with a long feature about out-of-control crime in San Francisco. It is no longer possible to obfuscate the problem.

Terry Asten Bennett’s family has been running Cliff’s Variety Store since 1936. In all that time, they’ve never experienced the amount of burglaries and property damage that they have recently, Ms. Bennett said.

Thieves smashed a display window and broke down a door to steal items as small as spray paint, and people shattered glass doors on two occasions for no apparent reason.

“These last two years have been insane,” she said. “It used to be a rare occurrence.” . .

Among the 25 largest U.S. cities, San Francisco has had the highest property-crime rate in four of the most recent six years for which data is available, bucking the long-term national decline in such crimes that began in the 1990s. . .

What’s behind this scene? Maybe there’s a clue here:

Despite the city’s long history of progressive politics, some business owners and residents are demanding that political leaders shift to a more law-and-order approach. . .

How about “because of the city’s long history of progressive politics”? There—fixed it for them.

Another clue here:

Some former police officials and business owners blame Mr. Boudin’s focus on keeping people who commit small-scale crimes out of prison. His office, for example, discourages filing charges in cases where suspects are pulled over for traffic infractions and officers find small amounts of drugs. Others point the finger at the police, who cleared just 6% of the city’s property crimes in 2020, more than 8 percentage points lower than the national average. A case is considered cleared if a suspect is arrested, charged and turned over to a court for prosecution, or is identified with sufficient evidence for a charge but can’t be taken into custody for circumstances beyond police control.

Criminology isn’t rocket science. You’d think that a place that has become the playground for the tech-savvy would figure this out sooner or later. Actually, the ones who are figuring it out are leaving the city in droves.

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