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.
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.
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.
For Brad Kava’s “Crime Chart” go to http://santacruz.patch.com/
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.
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.