SF controller survey says residents feel less safe

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – With statistics showing that violent crime is low in San Francisco, some city leaders say the focus still needs to be on other crimes. A new survey released by the city controller’s office shows residents’ perception of safety is the lowest it’s been since the 1990s.

Break-ins at two small businesses here on Noriega Street served as a reminder that property crime is still a problem. District 4 Supervisor Joel Engardio says these crimes cannot be ignored, and the latest report from the city’s controller’s office should be a wake-up call for city government.

The Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants were both hit by burglars in San Francisco’s Sunset District. Glass was shattered, cultural decorations were smashed, and cash was stolen.

“This is the type of crime we need to remain focused on,” Engardio said. “This is the type of crime that is making people feel unsafe in San Francisco.”

Engardio says as violent crime and homicide numbers are low, other issues such as property crime and thefts are still big problems. He pointed to a recent city survey on safety and policing. Residents gave San Francisco a grade of C+, the lowest since 1996.

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“It’s because they have catalytic converters sawed off in their neighborhoods. It happens all over the Sunset. Businesses are broken into, home invasions, burglaries, elders are assaulted, youth are attacked on the Muni. You add all this up, and that’s why people feel unsafe,” he said. 

Residents in the Sunset and Parkside neighborhoods, which Engardio oversees, gave a safety grade of B- and a police grade of B-.

Citywide Asian or Pacific Islander respondents gave the lowest safety grade of  C+. That is down from a B in 2019.

Residents also gave city government the lowest grade since 2002 – a C. Engardio says this survey does not reflect a dystopian city. He believes it’s time for city leaders to start showing results.

“We need to step up, myself included, as leaders in San Francisco. We have to deliver more. We have to pay attention and listen to what people are saying,” he said. 

The city survey asked residents about police for the first time this year. Residents gave them a C+. 

Broken down into demographics, police got the highest ratings from Asian Americans and the lowest ratings from the city’s Black respondents.