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California Dems Touted Decline In Violent Blue City’s Crime Rate. But The Data Isn’t What It Seems

Top California Democrats have claimed crime has fallen in Oakland, one of the state's notoriously crime-ridden cities, but the numbers they cited were deeply flawed in their reporting, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

California Governor Gavin Newsom touted a 33% overall drop in crime in Oakland. June Auckland Mayor Shen Tao also stated in the press release: Quote The figures were from a May press release, but the numbers were calculated based on incomplete reporting of nonviolent crimes and property crimes so far this year. according to The actual decline could be closer to 20%, according to a Chronicle analysis.

According to the Chronicle, non-violent crimes and property thefts are reported to the Oakland Police Department (OPD) through an online portal and take up to six weeks to be reflected in crime data, resulting in under-reporting of crime numbers for the year to date in 2024 and artificially inflating changes in crime reports from the previous year.

Detective Inspector Barry Donnellan, head of the city's Theft and General Crimes Unit, said Oakland police were not intentionally trying to mislead the public, and cited “aging IT infrastructure” as the reason for the delay in reporting, the Chronicle reported. (Related article: “It doesn't work that way”: Shen Tao slams FBI investigation, claims discrimination based on economic status)

“Depending on the community's use of the online reporting system, there may be a delay in the total number of reported property crimes,” an OPD spokesperson told the Chronicle. “These online crime reports must be reviewed and verified by staff before being included in crime statistics.”

Each OPD every week report It includes a footnote that reads, “Statistics may be affected by reporting delays, the geocoding process, reclassification or lack of justification for crimes. There may be delays in crime reporting and data entry, so all crimes may not be recorded.”

But according to the Chronicle, OPD has not asked people like Newsom and Thao, who take the statistics at face value, to correct the record.

A man conveys a message to police during protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody in Oakland, California, on May 29, 2020. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested earlier that day on suspicion of Floyd's death. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“These results are a clear and tangible example of effective collaboration between state, local and federal law enforcement in Oakland and the surrounding East Bay,” Governor Newsom said in a June press release. “We will continue to make our community safer by ensuring the safety and security of Oaklanders and by reducing crime and holding individuals accountable.”

“Oakland is turning around, and the public safety strategies the City has implemented are paying off,” Tao said in a May press release. “After years of rising crime rates, crime rates are down more than 30 percent compared to last year and 17 percent compared to the previous three years.”

Oakland has been plagued by crime in recent years, with Oakland's violent crime rate in 2022 being three times the California average. according to Dear Neighborhood Scout, Tao is currently facing a recall election in November, and crime has become a key issue for Oakland residents, who have seen a spike in crime since Tao fired former Police Chief Leron Armstrong.

OPD, Thao's office and Newsom's office did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation's requests for comment.

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