SAN FRANCISCO — As crime and homelessness have spiked degrading the quality of life in the Bay Area, San Francisco residents are clamoring for more police, according to a recent poll.
Roughly 80% of those polled said addressing homelessness is a top priority. About 76% of those polled want more police officers in high-crime neighborhoods, according to the City Beat Poll. It was commissioned by the city’s chamber of commerce in late May, and involved 520 registered voters who live in the city, SFGate.com reported.
There has been a 753% jump in car break-ins at the police department’s central station compared to May 2020, while there were COVID-19 restrictions, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The paper said thefts are up 75% compared to 2019, but that number is considerably skewed, according to Law Officer sources, since many property crimes go unreported due to a feeling of hopelessness. Therefore, the numbers are actually much higher.
Overall, 70% of the respondents to the City Beat Poll believe the quality of life in the city has declined.
“We want our visitors to feel safe and feel they can park safe,” Kevin Carroll, executive director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, told the paper. “Anything that pulls away from that hurts their experience here. You come to visit this beautiful city and your car is broken into, it leaves a bad impression. We don’t want that to happen.”
A local police detective recently visited a Law Officer staff member in another state. When asked if parking was a problem at a major shopping and dining area, the investigator said, “Are you kidding? I didn’t have to step over dozens of homeless people or walk through their urine and (other stuff) to get here. … And I can’t believe you can park for free.”
- 76% said increasing the number of police officers in high-crime neighborhoods should be a priority.
- 80% saw addressing the homelessness crisis as a high priority.
- 82% said they wanted to see 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.