San Francisco police say crime is down; not everyone is convinced

San Francisco police have crunched the numbers and say crime is down in the city, but some San Franciscans are saying if that's the case, they're not seeing changes on the streets.

In a city the size of San Francisco crime is a reality. Now, three weeks into the new year, San Francisco police have data comparing 2019 to 2018, and the chief says the news is good. 

"We're pleased with the way our statistics trended in 2019, particularly with violent crime," said Chief Bill Scott.

The department says violent crime is down 6%. Homicides are down 11%. Rapes are down 15%. Robberies and aggravated assaults are down as well. It’s the same story with property crimes. Burglaries are down 14%, and auto burglaries down 2%.

At 7th and Market streets, many say they may hear that crime is down, but that doesn't match up with what they're seeing. 

"What I do see is an absence of a police presence, here on one of the more challenging corners," said a fifth generation San Franciscan named Ellen, who did not give a last name. "What I see is a plethora of drug use, and drug dealing. That's just a fact."

Chief Scott said he hears those concerns, and is working to take the data learned over the last year, and apply that going forward, with a focus on some of the city's hot spots. 

"We're going to further increase our foot patrols, and focus continually on the Mid-Market area," said Chief Scott.

He says his officers will continue to work to make San Francisco a safer place, and make it feel like a safer place to those who live and work here. 

"We have a lot more work ahead, we know that," said the chief. "It's been said, the mayor's said it, I've said it, and you'll hear us say it time and time again. One homicide is too many. One car break in is too many."

Chief Scott also touched on working with a new District Attorney. The chief said it's his job to make sure that he presents the best cases possible for the DA, and then leave it up to prosecutors.

He said there may be a learning curve ahead, where the department will have to adapt to what the city wants and needs out of its police force.