San Francisco Democrat Mayor London Breed launched a crackdown on crime on Tuesday as the city grapples with a plague of rampant lawlessness exacerbated by soft-on-crime city leaders.
“It’s time that the reign of criminals who are destroying our city, it is time for it to come to an end,” Breed declared. “And it comes to an end when we take the steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement … and less tolerant of all the bullsh-t that has destroyed our city.”
The mayor’s plan includes a series of initiatives to implement a 180-degree reversal from blind compassion to “tough love.” Outlined in a Medium post, Breed’s proposals take aim at illegal drug sales and restore funding for police with targeted resources dedicated to the low-income Tenderloin neighborhood. The mayor calls for:
- Executing an Emergency Intervention Plan in the Tenderloin neighborhood
- Securing emergency police funding to ensure we have the resources to combat major safety problems over the next several months
- Amending our surveillance ordinance so law enforcement can prevent and interrupt crime in real time — something they’re effectively barred from doing now — to better protect our homes and businesses
- Disrupting the illegal street sales of stolen goods that have become a clear public safety issue and are contributing to retail theft
Michael Shellenberger, co-founder of the California Peace Coalition and author of “San Fran-Sicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities,” wrote that Breed’s latest initiative was a “big step in the right direction.”
San Francisco Mayor Breed has for years promised to crack down on drug dealing & crime, and things have only grown worse over, so skepticism is merited
But Breed's plan lays out big goals and makes very specific promises, including new funding for policing.
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 14, 2021
While Shellenberger cautioned that skepticism is warranted, the mayor’s plan arrives at a desperate time for the city. Just 18 months ago, Breed diverted $120 million in law enforcement funding to minority welfare programs. Coupled with a district attorney refusing to prosecute crime, the results have been devastating.
“The main reason for Breed’s turnabout is skyrocketing crime,” Shellenberger wrote in a Wednesday Substack post, pointing to a report out Tuesday from the Public Policy Institute of California showing high spikes in crime. “Homicides increased in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco by 17 percent in 2021. Property crimes in those four cities rose 7 percent between 2020 and 2021, reaching 25,000 total in October. Two-thirds of increase is due to larcenies, mainly car break-ins (by 21 percent) and vehicle thefts (by 10 percent).”
Meanwhile, left-wing District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who faces a recall in June, has declined to file charges on a majority of arrests. According to Shellenberger, he “charged just 46 percent of theft arrests, a 16 point decline since he took office in 2020, and charged just 35 percent of petty theft arrests, a 23 point decline from two years ago.”
A series of mass smash-and-grab robberies has continued to hammer the Bay Area, wherein shoplifters break into luxury retailers by the dozen and loot high-priced items.