Crime is on the rise in San Francisco. It’s happening all over the city. Rarely a week goes by that I don’t read about some violent incident within blocks of my apartment, along streets I often walk.
This week we landed in the spotlight in the New York Times because of it:
Recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that San Francisco has the highest per-capita property crime rate of the nation’s top 50 cities.
The article illustrates how pervasive the issue has become, showing how car theft has exploded in traditionally safe, “touristy” neighborhoods.
I lived in New York City for almost a decade and never felt as uncomfortable walking around that city at 2AM as I do at 7AM and 9PM in San Francisco.
San Francisco is comically under-policed.
“San Francisco at times is a consequence-free zone,” [Supervisor Scott] Wiener said. “I’m not advocating extreme law and order, but there has to be consequences. Sometimes people might need to spend six months in jail to think about what they did.”
In a bitterly contested 6-to-5 vote last year, Mr. Wiener led the passage of a measure adding several hundred officers to the city’s police force, the first increase since the 1980s, when the population was over 10 percent smaller.
Bitterly contested! With these statistics! Who would contest such a thing?
[Enter King Candy, stage left.]
On the other side is David Campos, a supervisor who opposes the increase in police officers and describes Mr. Wiener’s views as “a very knee-jerk kind of punitive approach that is ineffective and inconsistent with the values of San Francisco.”
“We are not going to criminalize people for being poor,” he said. “That criminalization is only going to make it harder for them to get out of poverty.”
Of course nobody wants to criminalize people for being poor. WE WANT TO CRIMINALIZE PEOPLE FOR BEING CRIMINALS. We need law and order to be enforced in a way that discourages bad behavior. And we need enforcement now.