Nearly halfway through the year, San Francisco has seen a slight increase in homicides compared to 2009, when the number of murders was the lowest in decades.
Following a violent weekend of four shootings, one of them fatal, The City has recorded 23 homicides in 2010. That’s four more than police recorded last year at the same time, but less than half the 47 homicides by this date in 2008.
“In the overall big picture, we are relatively low compared to the five previous years,” Capt. Michael Biel told the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee on Monday morning.
Homicides plagued The City and Mayor Gavin Newsom for years before killings dropped dramatically in 2009. In 2008, there were 99, followed by 45 last year. Newsom and new police Chief George Gascón lauded the decrease at the time.
Of the 23 homicides this year, nine are considered to be related to criminal street gangs.
Biel said homicide investigators are working closely with the Police Department’s gang task force to prevent killings.
“We have had issues in the area of gang-related homicides,” Biel said.
The number of homicide cases solved in San Francisco has been a challenge for the Police Department. While the solve rate has consistently been below 50 percent for years, Biel said that this year there has been a 70 percent clearance rate for all homicides, and that includes previous years.