Homicides, non-fatal shooting incidents, and other violent and property crimes in 2018 decreased across the city, according to a recently released report from the San Francisco Police Department.
Mayor London Breed joined Police Chief Bill Scott in a press conference early Thursday, during which they announced the decrease in crime could be attributed to initiatives such as the Crime Gun Investigations Center, a Mobile Command Center stationed at UN Plaza; and Park Smart, a social-media and public-messaging campaign to increase awareness of auto-burglary prevention.
“Too often, we focus on what’s wrong, but today we’re going to talk about the achievements,” said Mayor Breed.
Throughout the city, 1,276 firearms were seized by the police department, a 25 percent increase from 2017. Total shooting incidents decreased by 35 percent.
In the Mission, homicides decreased this past year by 17 percent, aggravated assault by 27 percent, and auto theft by 13 percent.
Citywide, there were 46 homicides, 10 fewer than in 2017. “Of the 46, 18 were cleared,” according to Chief Scott’s report during a Jan. 9 police commission meeting. “Cleared” typically means the police have made an arrest, filed charges and turned a suspect over to the court for prosecution.
The greatest crime increases in this district — and throughout the city — were seen among human trafficking-sex cases, with 8 more registered cases in the Mission this year, for a total of 15. Across the city, there were 108 reported cases, 68 more than the previous year.
Car break-ins, a citywide scourge, decreased by 17 percent in 2018. But the numbers were still stratospheric: There were nearly 26,000 cases in 2018, down from more than 31,000 the previous year.
The city has not seen such low crime rates since the 1960s, according to a statement released by District Attorney George Gascón.
“By putting more officers on the street, we’ve been able to deter crimes of opportunity,” Chief Scott said in a news release. He confirmed that there are 150 officers working foot beats.
Breed said the plan to hire 250 more police officers is ongoing. “We don’t want one San Franciscan to be a victim of crime,” she said.
Arrest data was not discussed today. In the recent past, the SFPD has registered an arrest in only around 1 of 10 reported serious crimes, and managed arrests in fewer than 2 percent of car break-ins.