Playing Pattycake with Crime Stats in Santa Cruz

NOTE BY NORSE:  My comments are below.

Ramping up hysteria against “the crime wave” seems to be SC Patch’s Brad Kava’s favorite dish.

I see this kind of hysteria being turned to target homeless people–who are far more often victims of crime.

Even worse  is te offiicially-sanctioned and funded criminal practices such as destruction of homeless property, abusive ticketing for life-sustaining activity, and discriminatory treatment in coffee shops (Coffee Roasting Company, Starbucks, Verve), grocieries (New Leaf Market), other businesses (CruzioWorks), and public facilities (parks, the library, City Hall) not to mention exclusion from the Boardwalk for appearance.

Santa Cruz Crime is Worst in the County

Check the comparison to other county cities here.

Posted by Brad Kava (Editor) , September 18, 2013 at 06:53 PM

Property crimes in Santa Cruz took a big bite in 2012, according to recent FBI statistics for the year. There were 59 cases of theft or burglary for every 1,000 people in the city of 61,000 people.

There were three murders in the city; 433 violent crimes; 34 rapes; 83 robberies; 313 assaults; and 3,585 property crimes.

For comparison in 2012 Watsonville had a violent crime rate of 4.8 known offenses per 1,000 residents. Santa Cruz reported a higher violent crime rate: 7.1. Capitola’s violent crime rate was similar to Watsonville’s, at 4.6 known offenses per 1,000 people.

The FBI releases annual reports here every year. See current Santa Cruz crimes here.

For Brad Kava’s “Crime Chart” go to .

Robert Norse September 19, 2013 at 11:38 AM
As with the hysteria roused by Take Back Santa Cruz and The Clean Team in their destructive and agenda-heavy Needle-Shaking before City Council, this comparison ignores a more crucial analysis as to whether crime has increased from a decade or two ago.

When I spoke with Chief Kevin Vogel at City Council a few months back, he denied this. Now, there may be a certain cosmetic or defensive element involved there, but I’ve not seen stats indicating a rise in crime in Santa Cruz.

Which gos to whether this is all a “crisis”–the claim of the Comstock-Robinson majority on City Council. This mythology justifies the escalating scapegoating attacks on homeless people, the paranoid police state mentality and the absurd and misnamed “Public Safety Task Force”.

The Task Force seems designed to lay the groundwork for the favorite NIMBY/Downtown Association mythology–that Santa Cruz is too welcoming to hippies, travelers, and homeless people. The crime scare mythology (pushed regularly by the Sentinel) seems designed to create the rationale for further (futile and abusive) crackdowns on homeless people.

I’m sorry Brad and SC Patch have bought on to this calculated b.s., which is the kind of right-wing nonsense that feeds a crypto-fascist populist agenda.

It is, of course, the criminal behavior of the rich and the powerful (we can see this most clearly at the national level) that needs to be fought not economic fall-out like survival sleeping bt poor Santa Cruzans driven to the edge.

Brad Kava (Editor) September 19, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Robert…Don’t the numbers speak for themselves? And if you break them down further, you’ll find this isn’t happening to everyone in town, but a lot of the same people are causing the problems, many of them transients. Simple numbers show this. No opinion or spin needed.
Brad Kava (Editor) September 19, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Plus, for all the heat Watsonville gets, it’s numbers are considerably lower than those in Santa Cruz.
Brad Kava (Editor) September 19, 2013 at 08:56 PM
As for paragraphs..requested and waiting. Need to think in short bites.
Andi Sanchez September 19, 2013 at 10:36 PM
It’s beyond “just numbers” and “city council propaganda”. It’s CLEAR that transient crime has increased. We can all still have immense sympathy for the homeless while being incredibly angry at crime. Robert Norse, whose work I admire except when his blinders are on, is misguided here. And “right wing” just because we are concerned about the significant and measurable increase in violent and personal property crime? Robert, that is just so lame. You lost me.
Perhaps Brad can provide us with property crime stats. And not just comparisons with other cities, but with Santa Cruz at points in the past.

It’s true and infuriating that bike theft has increased. And as for “homeless crime”, it, of course, depends on your definition.

If you’re a member of the ludicrous “Task Force on Public Safety”, it looks like sleeping, camping, drug possession, trespass, violating the Downtown Ordinances, etc. are the kind of “crime” you’re interested in using as a pretext to drive homeless people away.

If you have sympathy for the homeless, then look at real crime not defining the homeless as criminals because of their real needs. I notice the property stats are missing even in comparison with other cities.

Also, none of those cities have two college campuses, a massive Beach Boardwalk, and a status as County Seat to contend with. Minor details, of course. We don’t want to interrupt the “War on Crime” narrative, now do we?

My sarcasm is directed at Brad Kava not at Andi Sanchez, incidentally. Kava’s been playing police PR sock puppet for some time. Sorry, Brad, but it’s true.