Just the stats, ma’am: FBI says killings are up

A trio of weekend slayings in The City followed a paradoxical and bloody trend outlined in a Federal Bureau of Investigation report released Monday — homicides in San Francisco and San Mateo are becoming more common, while other crimes are becoming less common.

The fatal shootings, which occurred in Hunters Point on Friday evening, in Potrero Hill on Saturday evening and in the Western Addition on Sunday evening, took the number of San Francisco homicides to 77 this year, according to police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens.

There were 100 homicides in San Francisco in 2007, up from 86 in 2006, according to the FBI’s annual Crime in the United States report. The category includes murder and “non-negligent manslaughter.”

In San Mateo County, there were three such killings in 2007 — up from one in 2006.

The local increases bucked national and statewide trends that saw homicides fall by 9 percent in California during the same period.

“It’s hard to understand,” said Nathan Ballard, spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom. “We are dedicated to increasing the number of police officers on patrol in the hardest hit areas.”

Nationally, 16,929 people were slain in 2007, down slightly from 2006.

Ballard credited increased police patrols and other efforts for improvements in all other major crime categories, including rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and vehicle theft. Crime fell in all categories statewide.

The 21 percent fall in burglaries in San Francisco was larger than in California as a whole, which saw a 4 percent reduction from 2006 to 2007. However, the number of burglaries per resident last year in San Francisco was still nearly 7 percent higher than the state average.

San Mateo County experienced a significant one-year reduction in forcible rapes — down from 24 to nine.

Homicides, aggravated assaults and auto-thefts became more common in 2007 than in 2006 in San Mateo County. All other categories fell in frequency.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

Crime stats

Figures on area crimes, as reported by the FBI.

San Francisco, 2007

Homicides: 100

Forcible rapes: 125

Aggravated assaults: 2,418

Stolen vehicles: 5,903

San Francisco, 2006

Homicides: 86

Forcible rapes: 154

Aggravated assaults: 2,435

Stolen vehicles: 6,636

San Mateo County, 2007

Homicides: 3

Forcible rapes: 9

Aggravated assaults: 189

Stolen vehicles: 262

San Mateo County, 2006

Homicides: 1

Forcible rapes: 24

Aggravated assaults: 161

Stolen vehicles: 252

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

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