San Jose Experiencing a Spike in Violent Crime
According to the San Jose Police Department, San Jose was on track for a seven percent rise in violent crimes such as homicides, aggravated assaults, rapes and robberies in 2017. The city had also recorded a 14 percent jump in violent crimes in 2016. Other cities in the region such as Berkeley, Fremont, Hayward, and Palo Alto saw violent crime surge in 2016, and were projected to maintain elevated rates in 2017. In Southern California, Los Angeles saw violent crime rise at about the same rate as San Jose. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo stated,
We’ve got a lot of work to do. It doesn’t matter that we’re still among the safest large cities in the nation. We see a rising trend of violent crime, and we have ample reason to be concerned and respond immediately.
The violent crime rate in Oakland and San Francisco dropped in 2017, with the rate in Oakland dropping about 5 percent and 10 percent in San Francisco. San Jose has had acute issues with rising youth crime according to Mayor Liccardo, which he hopes will be countered by teen employment programs like San Jose Works. It is important to note that the size of a city’s population matters when determining the violent crime rate, because a couple of incidents in a city with a small population can produce a notable percentage increase compared to a city with a larger population. For example, Oakland and San Francisco had about the same number of violent crimes last year. However, Oakland’s population of 420,000 residents means that its crime rate increased more than San Francisco’s violent crime rate, due to the number of violent crimes in San Francisco being spread out amongst a population of 850,000 residents. Hopefully, the Bay Area can decrease its violent crime rate this year and improve public safety.