The rise of crime around America 

Original art by Jordan Frazier.

With the rise of Covid cases around the world due the new Omicron variant and economic uncertainty raging across America, it’s no surprise that there has been a recent rise in crime around the Bay Area, as well as the rest of America. 

In California there have been increases in violent crime in Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles. A lot of these crimes tend to be violent crimes, which previously declined during the early portions of the pandemic, likely due to the shutdowns. In 2020 property crime was the lowest it’s been in decades, but in 2021 it rose in all major cities. Chicago has also seen a big increase in violent crimes in 2021.

Graph showing various crimes—all violent, homicide, rape, robbery, assault, all property, motor vehicle theft, burglary, and larceny—before versus during the pandemic. 

Source: The figure shows the average weekly number of reported crimes calculated from data downloaded from each city's crime data website on October 2, 2020. While we attempted to include the same type of crimes for each city (burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft), there may be some variation due to reporting differences across cities. Note that Homicides excludes Oakland.

Fremont California, which was ranked as the happiest city in 2021, has also been affected by a rise in crime. A graph released by the Fremont Police Department shows that in the year 2020 Fremont saw its highest crime rate of the five years. In New York a Fremont woman was thrown in front of a subway train platform where she sadly passed away. Before the pandemic in March of 2019 there were 20 break ins in one night at a Fremont apartment residence. 2022 seems to carry similar risks, as in January 2022 30 apartment residents woke up to their cars broken into

Javin Garcia is a senior at Washington High School, and he feels a lot of sympathy towards the businesses impacted by the rise of crime. “I think that the rise in crime has been terrible towards the city and it’s small businesses especially because they have to repair that stuff and it’s very expensive,” he says. Around the Bay Area there have been cases of businesses being broken into, especially during the holiday season

Aldo Villegas, a junior at  Washington High School, feels that the part of the blame for the rise of crime is in relation to the poverty levels in the Bay Area. According to a 2018 report, 1 in 4 Bay Area families aren’t making enough money to live in the Bay Area. Housing prices have also gone up in the Bay Area, which some attribute to the poverty numbers. 

There have been debates sparked over the role of policing in the community. Ever since the murder of George Floyd in 2020 there have been protests, and calls to defund the police, which some major cities have done. Javin Garcia doesn’t have much of an answer as to what the police should do, but he feels like Fremont is still a safe place to live. “Fremont is safe, but I worry for the businesses who actually are going to lose a lot of money and have families to feed,” he said. Aldo Villegas also isn’t too sure as to what the police should do, but gives a piece of advice: “What I can say is that in order to reduce crime the police must understand what is causing the increase in crime. It would also be beneficial to be aware of areas where higher rates of crime are known to occur.”

Crime may be rising, but some students in Washington aren’t losing hope in the city they reside in. One shared opinion from these students is that Fremont is still a safe place to live, and that hopefully the rise of crime will eventually come to an end. 

Ryan Adams is a junior at Washington High School. He grew up across the Bay Area spending time in San Pablo, Castro Valley, and Fremont, but he’s spent most of his childhood in Fremont. This will be his first year at the Hatchet newspaper. Journalistically he’s interested in covering sports, and he spends his free time playing football for the Washington High School football team, playing video games, and watching television just to name a few. His future plans are to maybe go to Ohlone College after high school, and figure out a plan from there.

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