Four Bay Area cities surpass national average for violent crime

- Several Bay Area cities experience a sharp increase in violent crime last year. New numbers from the FBI show Bay Area violent crime rose much faster than the national average.

Eight cities had more reports of violence crime in 2016, though property crimes were significantly down in the Bay Area, except in Fremont and Hayward, which had increases in both.

The FBI found violent crime increased across the United States and four Bay Area cities surpassed even that. Those cities are Fremont, Berkeley, Hayward and San Jose.

Fremont topped the list with a nearly 25 percent increase in violent crime. The city has about 230,000 people and last year, the city reported 420 violent crimes. A police spokeswoman said she was surprised to hear that.

San Jose had a 57 percent increase in murders after reporting 47 homicides last year, according to the FBI.

Santa Clara, Walnut Creek, Palo Alto, Los Gatos and San Francisco all had double digit drops in property crime, and San Jose also outperformed the national average in this category.

Police departments have long complained that they are understaffed.

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