Rape, Theft, Arson Rates Increased Citywide in 2017

But, homicides, non-fatal shootings, and burglaries decreased.

(Jessica Christian)

The San Francisco Police Department released its 2017 crime statistics Thursday afternoon, in what’s always a entertaining peek into the law-breaking activities that make up our city. Covering everything from human trafficking to arson, homicides to vehicle theft, the data is reported annually to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program

Overall crime dropped this year, though not radically. Homicides dropped 3.4 percent from 58 in 2016 to 56 in 2018. Non-fatal shooting incidents allegedly decreased 15.8 percent, from 151 to 127 — though it’s important to note many shootings go unreported to police. And burglaries — defined as entering a building illegally to commit theft — also dropped, from 4,978 incidents in 2016 to 4,935 in 2017. 

In good news for tourists and car owners alike, car break-ins dropped 11 percent citywide between Nov. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017. But, arson rose 18 percent, to 303 cases logged.

Sexual crimes saw a spike and a drop. Rapes increased with 342 reported to SFPD in 2016. In 2017, SFPD was notified about 25 more, bringing the total number to 367. Human trafficking, however, dropped sharply from 49 known incidents to 33.

Perhaps the oddest dataset included, however, was violence inflicted upon SFPD officers. The numbers dropped slightly to land at 318 in 2017, of which five involved a firearm, 10 involved a knife, 102 an “other dangerous weapon,” and 201 hands, fists, or feet.

“Reducing violent crime is and will always be our top priority,” said Police Chief William Scott, about 2017’s data release. “We’re working closely with community members and our city partners to reduce gun-related violence. Protecting lives and providing safety for the public — particularly our youth- is key to ensuring a vibrant future for everyone.”

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