Is crime up in San Leandro as some people believe? Is crime down, as San Leandro Police Chief Dale Attarian said in his December 3, 2007, letter to the San Leandro Times? The answer depends on how you look at it.
Crime statistics for the years 1996 to 2006 are available at the FBI’s web site as part of the Uniform Crime Reports at http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm#cius. These statistics include the population of San Leandro and the number of police officers in the San Leandro Police Department.
From 1996 to 2006, San Leandro’s population increased by 12%, from 70,478 to 78,882, according to the FBI data.
The good news: During that same time period, murders and non-negligent homicides decreased 50% from 6 to 4, with only one murder reported in 2000 and three murders in 1999 and 2003. Larceny-theft decreased by 29% from 3,073 to 2,176 and arson decreased by 57%, from 28 to 12. Robberies increased by only 1.3% from 305 to 309 and burglaries increased by 1.2% from 764 to 773. Aggravated assaults increased by 11%, from 278 to 309.
The bad news: Forcible rape increased 33% from 21 to 28 and motor vehicle theft increased by 72% from 725 to 1247.
More recent data isn’t available yet, so recent trends may not be apparent yet. Larceny-theft and arson are down in recent years, but all other crime categories are up.
From 1996 to 2006, the number of police officers in the San Leandro Police Department has varied from 92 to 93, with a high of 98 officers in 2000 and a low of 88 in 2001. If there’s a correlation between the number of police officers and crime, it doesn’t readily appear in the statistics. Mayor Tony Santos campaigned for increasing the number of police officers and repeated this at the December 3, 2007, City Council meeting. However, if San Leandro were able to increase the number of officers by four or six, it’s not clear that it would have any significant impact on crime.
The following graphs summarize crime, population, and the number of police officers in San Leandro from 1996 to 2006. Here's the data for those of you who want to play with the numbers yourself.
After looking at the statistics, what do you think?
Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at December 13, 2007 11:08 PM