Violent crimes and property crimes have both ticked up this year when compared to last in San Francisco. The Los Angeles Times reports that San Francisco "saw more than 20% jumps in both the rate of property crime, such as thefts and burglary, and the rate of violent crime, such as robbery and assault, between 2012 and 2013" while most major metropolitan areas in California, including San Jose, saw crime rates drop.
The increase in crime may be linked to the wide income gap disparity in the city. The Times reports that the top 5% of the city's residents earn on average $350,000 while 23% of the residents are at or below the poverty line. Though rapes, assaults, petty theft and other rates of crime are up, there have been the fewest number of murders in the city since 1954.
Certainly an increase in crime is disturbing but efforts by the police to "get tough on crime" must be tempered with protection of the rights of suspected criminals. When a rise in crime makes headlines, law enforcement's reaction is to respond aggressively. While this may temporarily reduce crime, it does nothing to alleviate the income disparity contributing to crime rate increases. The problem is one that law enforcement cannot solve alone.