City on alert for another summer of violent crime

San Francisco experiences a “small but consistent increase” in violent crimes during the summer months, according to police statistics.

As The City heads into another summer, city officials are expressing concern over what public safety officials are doing to ensure San Francisco does not experience another uptick in crime.

The concern comes as The City continues to struggle to bring down the homicide rate, with 43 murders to date in 2007. Last year, there were 85 homicides total and 42 between January 2006 and June 2006.

The increase in violent crimes during the summer months — June, July and August — has occurred in San Francisco for at least the last two years, according to Lenore Anderson, head of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

All police district stations, except the Richmond station, have seen an increase in violent crimes during the previous two summers, according to statistics Anderson presented Monday to the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee.

In 2006, larceny offenses grew from an average of 891 per month to 932 per month in the summer as the average number of auto thefts throughout San Francisco increased by about 10 per month throughout the summer.

Robberies went from an average of 328 to 392 robberies per month in the summer while burglaries increased from an average of 558 to 628 per month. Aggravated assaults saw a jump of about 34 incident per month.

David Shinn, San Francisco Police Department’s deputy director of the Field Operations Bureau, said there is an effort to have more school-aged children enroll in city summer programs to keep them off the streets and enforcement will be beefed up in high crime areas. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said the increase in violence during the summer has been going on for the last four years. “Based on the four-year trend, I say we should be on the edge of our seats and remain extremely concerned about there potentially being another violent summer,” Mirkarimi said.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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