This is what happens when you defund the police: Data shows armed robberies are on the rise in LA

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LOS ANGELES, CA – According to reports, crime data comparing armed robberies in 2021 versus the same time period the year prior shows that armed robberies are on the rise across the city of Los Angeles – and have significantly increased in certain areas within the city.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore recently told the LA Police Commission, while referencing city-wide crime data, that “robberies are essentially flat” – meaning that reported robberies between January 1st through September 15th of 2021 have remained roughly the same number as the year prior.

However, according to the LAPD’s own records, it shows that robberies committed with a firearm have increased by approximately 16% across the city as compared to incidents from 2020.

During that 2020 period of January 1st through September 15th, LAPD data shows that 1,092 armed robberies were committed.

In 2021, armed robberies committed in Los Angeles in reference to that timeframe jumped up to 1,271.

When focusing in on certain areas of Los Angeles, the uptick in armed robberies become all the more concerning.

Crime statistics from the LAPD’s Wilshire and Hollywood Divisions, which monitor Melrose and the adjacent areas, reveals that the increase is considerably more dramatic, with a 65% increase in armed robberies in 2021 as compared to 2020.

Furthermore, a report from NBC LA back in July that armed robberies occurring within Los Angeles are seeing more gunshots ringing out as compared to 2020. Data in July showed that shootings during robberies in the city had increased by roughly 40%.

Incidents where the victims were shot during these robberies also increased by 133%.

Back in July, when this revelation of increased shootings during robberies came to light, Los Angeles locals noted how they tend to avoid certain areas within the city that they used to frequent.

Melrose Action Board Member and resident Ana Benko said the following regarding the increase in robberies involving shootings:

“I’ve always loved my neighborhood…I raised two children here. Honestly, I don’t go to Melrose anymore to walk my grandchildren, even myself, because we are afraid to be robbed.”

LAPD Detective Jamie McBride said back in July that police were conducting more patrols within the Melrose corridor, but lamented that criminals have become more brazen in recent times and a mere police presence doesn’t seem to be as effective as it once was:

“I think it curbs a little bit, but again, the suspects don’t fear the police. Before, they used to have lookouts down the street…they don’t do that anymore.”

Benko says that her and other homeowners in the area are faced with either banding together and establishing a sort of neighborhood watch, or simply tucking tail and moving out of the area altogether:

“I have two choices…move like the other neighbors have or we try to move together to see if we can fight the crime.”

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San Francisco’s plan to stop murders? Pay criminals up to $500 per month to avoid shooting incidents.

(Originally published September 2nd, 2021)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- According to reports, a new crime-prevention program in San Francisco will pay people who are considered “at risk of shooting someone” $300 a month if they keep their hands off guns and don’t get shot themselves. 

To counter the rising crime rate, the City is launching a new initiative dubbed “Dream Keeper Fellowship” in October and will pay 10 individuals a monthly allowance for not engaging in shootings. 

During an interview on Tuesday, August 31st, Sheryl Davis, executive director of the Human Rights Commission, described the program as not “transactional,” but instead an important “investment” in violence plagued communities.

Reportedly, the Fellowship participants will be paired with life coaches from the city’s Street Violence Intervention Program (SVIP) and will be called “community ambassadors,” whose work will be “to prevent violence,” seemingly by not committing it.

The participants will be required to work on improving their professional, personal, and community traits, and will be considered “partners” in engaging members of their respectful communities in decreasing violent activities. 

Davis further explained that the program aims at eradicating the “root causes” of violence, which she said “in many ways are economic.” In addition to $300, participants may earn as much as an additional $200 per month for working on “improving their community.” 

Improving their community includes working, attending school, or being a mediator in situations that could lead to violence.

Davis is hopeful the program will attract interest and make the future partakers more “civil-minded”, allowing them to “be part of the solution,” which in turn, would create safer communities in the long run.

The San Francisco Examiner stated that at its worst the program could be called “cash for criminals,” like its predecessors in cities around the Bay Area and that at its best, it could save lives and tax dollars otherwise spent on incarceration. 

The theory is that the up to $500 stipend will serve as an incentive to participate and stay engaged. Davis said:

“We know that $500 in San Francisco is not a significant amount of money. But, if it’s enough to get you in to talk to folks and be able to make a plan for your life, then that’s huge.”

This is not the first time a city in California has tried to reduce gun violence by offering cash.

A similar anti-violence program in Oakland offers young adults up to $300 for achieving milestones. The different in San Francisco is that it would start people off with a baseline of $300 a month without having to meet any marks.

It is also not San Francisco’s first guaranteed-income program. The City recently rolled out similar efforts for pregnant mothers from marginalized communities and artists struggling during the pandemic.

The plan is to kick off the Fellowship program with 10 participants before expanding the stipends to another 30 high-risk individuals by the end of the year. They have already hired two life coaches to work with participants at SVIP and are looking to hire two more. Davis said:

“What we are actually doing is trying to address the root cause of some of what’s happened. Six thousand dollars per person, when you look at it annually, is nothing if it helps deter criminal activity compared to the amount of money it costs to incarcerate someone, let alone the impact of the activity itself.”

The effort comes as shootings are soaring in San Francisco, after years of declines. It is a pattern being seen around the nation during the pandemic, even in cities like Oakland that already have cash incentive programs.

About twice as many people have been shot in San Francisco as of late July compared to either of the prior two years.

During the same time period, police data show there were 21 gun homicides in 2021 compared to 15 in 2020 and 14 in 2019. The number of non-fatal shooting victims also rose to 108 from 51 and 50 in the previous two years.

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Target stores in police-defunded San Francisco to reduce hours due to constant looting of their stores

July 5th, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Law Enforcement Today (LET) recently reported on the impact of the crime wave in San Francisco as brazen thieves continue to loot stores in the Bay Area.

Now, stores and properties, including Target, are announcing that they are cutting store hours to reduce their losses. According to ABC7, Target stores normally stay open until 10 p.m. in most cities around the country, but the stores in San Francisco will now be closing at 6 p.m.

The company confirmed that for more than a month their stores have experienced an alarming rise in theft and security incidents, similar to reports from other retail stores in the area.

A Target spokesperson said in a statement:

“For more than a month, we’ve been experiencing a significant and alarming rise in theft and security incidents at our San Francisco stores, similar to reports from other retailers in the area. Target is engaging local law enforcement, elected officials, and community partners to address our concerns.

“With the safety of our guests, team members, and communities as our top priority, we’ve temporarily reduced our operating hours in six San Francisco stores.”

Target is not the only store in San Francisco that has made changes to its hours or operations because of the continuous shoplifting. After 10 p.m. the 7-Eleven on Drumm St. in the Financial District only does business through a metal door. 

Before a customer can even get inside, they must ring a bell to let them know you are outside. Manager Bobby Singh said in a statement:

“This window was installed like two or three months ago because it was not safe. Sometimes they would break that glass of the door.”

Walgreens recently announced it is also closing stores because of the inability to keep people from continuously stealing from its stores.

Reportedly, the ongoing thefts have been dubbed “organized retail theft,” but it appears to be more like looting since several people invade a store at once and grab as much merchandise as possible before fleeing. 

According to Walgreens, theft in their San Francisco stores is four times more than the average in stores across the country. The company also stated that they spend 35 times more on hiring security personnel for its stores in San Francisco. In the past five years, Walgreens has closed 17 stores in the Bay Area. 

The Public Policy Institute of California’s research shows San Francisco has the lowest arrest rate of any police department in California.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said in a statement:

“That answer does speak to staffing. I mean it’s direct and this is not an excuse, this is a reality. In order for us to be at these locations when these things happen, the officers have to have time to be there.”

Reportedly, in 1994 voters passed Proposition D, which mandated that there be 1,971 fully duty officers. However, San Francisco has never reached that goal. In 2020, amid calls to defund the police, the board of supervisors changed the police department’s budget.

Now, Mayor London Breed is proposing an increase to the police department’s budget and has urged supervisors to support the move. In response to Target cutting their hours, Breed says that is not the answer.

The mayor said:

“We need to make sure when these crimes occur that there is an accountability component. When police make an arrest which they have, which you saw on the news with the guy on the bike an arrest had been made. Will they be held accountable for what they did?”

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai has also stepped in. He has asked both the police department and the District Attorney’s office to come up with a coordinated plan to reduce the organized retail crime and find out why San Francisco is apparently targeted more than anywhere else.

Safai said:

“These are people who are recruited, organized and are reselling these goods and San Francisco is hurting for it.”

Safai has given the police and DA’s office a week to come up with an answer. 

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