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The San Francisco Police Department released 2019 crime data reflecting a 6 percent drop in violent crimes compared to prior year reporting.

The homicide rate decreased by 11 percent in 2019, marking The City’s lowest rate of homicides since 1961, Mayor London Breed said at a Monday press conference.

The City recorded a total of 41 homicides in 2019, Breed said:

“The fact that we are at an all-time low in homicides in our city is absolutely incredible. Forty-one homicides of course are 41 too many, but the fact is that this is the lowest number of homicides that we’ve seen since 1961.”

Police Chief Bill Scott said reported rapes were down by 15 percent, while robberies and aggravated assaults both dropped by 5 percent. Vehicle burglaries modestly improved by 2 percent, however, burglaries in general decreased significantly by 14 percent.

Last year, the department seized 933 firearms and hosted its first Gun Violence Summit to identify ways to reduce gun violence, especially in the Bayview neighborhood, Scott said.

Ching Wong/SFBay San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott speaks during the opening of a new drop-in center run by SFPD at Portsmouth Square clubhouse in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, November 28, 2018.

The chief touted officers’ efforts in solving a number of high-profile cases in 2019. He added that SFPD will continue foot beats, focusing heavily on the Mid-Market area.

Police department officials said they plan to open a new foot beat office later this month at 1100 Market St. where they will manage officer deployment and be available to speak with members of the public.

Although reduced crime rates are positive, Breed acknowledged that there is still much work to be done. The mayor said:

“I know that these statistics don’t matter when sadly you or your family are a victim of a violent or any other kind of crime that exists, which is why we are working hard every single day to make sure this department is fully staffed, and that continues to be a challenge.”

Highlighting the department’s focus on prevention rather than reaction, Scott said:

“We will do everything we can to prevent you from being a victim of a crime.”

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco for SF Bay. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn. Instagram: jeroldwashere.

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