May 29, 2011

Violent Crimes Drop in San Leandro for 4th Consecutive Year

With new crime statistics showing violent crime in California decreasing 6.4% from 2009 to 2010, San Leandro showed a 16% drop in the same period. Violent crime and violent crimes per capita have been dropping in San Leandro since 2006 (see chart below).


San Leandro's violent crime rate of 4.11 violent crimes per 1,000 residents is lower than neighboring cities of Oakland (15.3, the highest in California for large cities) and Hayward (4.51), but higher than Fremont (2.37). Oakland had the highest crime rate in California and the sixth-highest crime rate in the United States for cities with more than 100,000 people. The table below compares violent crime rates of some cities in Alameda County:

CityViolent Crime Rate in 2010
San Leandro4.11

Violent crimes are defined as murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.

When asked about the drop in violent crime in San Leandro, Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli said, "Crime in San Leandro is at a 30 year low..." Spagnoli attributed the drop in crime to community involvement in crime prevention, proactive policing practices, relentless follow up on serious/ violent crimes, technology such as cameras, and specialty units, like traffic and the tactical unit.

Spagnoli noted that "Benicia had a similar drop in violent crime," although the nature of the crimes committed was becoming more violent.

The drop in crime nationally has experts puzzled. Many have predicted that crime increases as unemployment increases, but that has not happened in recent years. James Q. Wilson wrote in the Wall Street Journal that "greater incarceration can explain about one-quarter or more of the crime decline." Wilson also speculates that a change in police focus from making arrests to reducing crime, a decrease in blood level levels (since leaded gasoline was banned in 1974), decrease in cocaine use, and finally a change in culture have all contributed to the decline in crime. He dismisses Steven Levitt's (Freakonomics) explanation that legalization of abortion has contributed significantly to the drop in crime.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at May 29, 2011 10:23 AM | TrackBack

"a decrease in blood level levels?" We can thank vampires too, then? :)

Posted by: Leah Hall at June 1, 2011 9:19 AM
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