Apr 8, 2024 - News

San Francisco officials say crime is falling

Photo of London Breed speaking from a podium

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks at an event in February. Photo: Steve Jennings via Getty Images

San Francisco recorded a decline in crime rates in the first quarter of 2024 compared with the same period last year, according to the mayor's office.

Why it matters: San Francisco has taken a more hardline approach to public safety in response to car break-ins, motor theft and drug trafficking.

By the numbers: City data released last week shows that from Jan. 1 through March 31, car break-ins decreased by 51%, gun violence decreased by 38% and rape decreased by 29%.

  • Burglaries, motor vehicle theft, homicide, robbery and gun violence also decreased.

What they're saying: "These downward trending crime rates show that the SFPD is on the right path," San Francisco police chief Bill Scott said in a written statement.

  • He added that the department looks forward to incorporating more modern technologies into its efforts to prevent and investigate crimes.

The big picture: The police department began installing 400 license plate reader cameras throughout the city last month.

  • It also deployed an overtime unit to patrol in auto burglary hot spots and started using bait cars in operations last year.
  • Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom dispatched members of the California Highway Patrol and California National Guard to San Francisco last May to take part in a multi-agency operation aimed at cracking down on fentanyl trafficking.

What to watch: Voters approved a controversial ballot measure in March that would enable San Francisco police to chase people suspected of committing felonies or misdemeanors, use drones for car chases, and install surveillance cameras with facial recognition technology.

  • Voters did, however, reject a separate ballot measure that would have allowed the city to expand police staffing but fund it through an unspecified "future tax" on residents.
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