Poll Finds 76 Percent of San Francisco Residents Want More Police in High Crime Areas


By Cassandra Fairbanks

A new poll conducted in San Francisco found that 76 percent of registered voters believe it should be a priority to place more police officers in high-crime neighborhoods.

A massive 70 percent of residents also said that their quality of life is on the decline, citing crime and homelessness as major issues for people in the city.

The annual City Beat Poll, commissioned by the city’s chamber of commerce, found that more than 40 percent of respondents plan to move out of the city in the next few years.

SFGate reports that 80 percent of the registered voters who spoke to the pollsters said they think crime has increased and 88 percent said homelessness has worsened in recent years.

The poll found:

80% of residents saw addressing the homelessness crisis as a high priority.
82% said they want more caseworkers on the streets to help individuals with mental illness and substance use problems.
74% supported providing more temporary shelter for homeless people.
80% supported expanding conservatorship for individuals experiencing severe mental illness.
76% said increasing the number of police officers in high-crime neighborhoods should be a priority.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in May, “the Police Department’s Central Station saw a 753% increase in auto burglaries compared to the previous May. But that was the height of lockdown restrictions. They are up only 75% compared to 2019.”

In May, the Independent reported that Walgreens has closed 17 of its stores due to rampant stealing, and CVS has called the city “one of the epicenters of organized retail crime.” The extremely liberal city has essentially stopped prosecuting people for theft and shoplifting after a 2014 ballot referendum downgraded the theft of property less than $950 in value from a felony charge to a misdemeanor.

“The Chamber of Commerce launched a new online dashboard pulling data from SF311, the city’s customer service center, which fields thousands of requests from reports of graffiti to complaints of trash on sidewalks,” the SFGate report states. “The dashboard is designed to capture information on eight key issues issues: graffiti, overflowing trash cans, human and animal waste, vandalism, street and sidewalk cleaning, homeless tent complaints, broken storefront windows and theft. The chamber noted that the number of reports of broken storefront windows is up 41% in 2021 compared with 2019. ”

The Chamber of Commerce said that the broken storefronts are a particularly concerning statistic, “as broken windows are cited by small businesses as a major financial burden.”

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