So there’s no doubt things are looking grim in Oakland these days. Everywhere I go, it seems like people want to tell me stories about how crime has never been so bad in town ever, and they would know because their family has lived here since 1870 or something. Seriously. The things people have been saying over the last couple of weeks, you’d think Oakland in the 80s was Mayberry or something. There’s certainly no doubt that crime is disturbingly high and that action needs to be taken. But let’s have some perspective.
OPD’s website helpfully provides historical data for Part 1 offenses going back to 1969, and it’s an interesting chart to look at, and anyway, I’ve prepared some quick visual representation of some of the numbers contained therein. Enjoy.
So go right ahead and complain about how our current level of crime is unacceptable, because it is, and how the City isn’t doing enough, because they aren’t, but please, let’s not sit around and pretend that 20 years ago Oakland was some crime-free utopia and things have only now gotten bad, because it’s just plain not true.