Descriptive Title: Number and rate of property crimes

Geographic Unit of Analysis: Census tract

Number and rate of property crimes* (2010-2012)
NeighborhoodNumberRate (offenses/1,000)
Bayview/Hunter's Point 5,962 175.4
Bernal Heights 2,908 112.8
Castro/Upper Market 4,699 238.4
Chinatown 1,160 123.1
Excelsior 2,742 72.0
Financial District/South Beach 9,141 1,325.2
Glen Park
Golden Gate Park 1,213 7,093.6
Haight Ashbury 2,770 130.5
Hayes Valley
Inner Richmond 2,880 81.7
Inner Sunset 1,831 72.1
Japantown
Lakeshore 2,910 149.2
Lincoln Park
Lone Mountain/USF
Marina 3,398 161.2
McLaren Park
Mission 10,723 194.8
Mission Bay
Nob Hill 2,514 113.4
Noe Valley 1,867 96.1
North Beach 4,230 334.7
Oceanview/Merced/Ingleside
Outer Mission 2,759 100.0
Outer Richmond 1,860 51.8
Pacific Heights 2,313 121.9
Portola
Potrero Hill 3,598 290.3
Presidio 36 12.1
Presidio Heights 809 102.3
Russian Hill 2,634 151.1
San Francisco 130,891 162.6
Seacliff 418 163.1
South of Market 17,497 558.3
Sunset/Parkside
Tenderloin
Treasure Island 219 76.0
Twin Peaks 660 96.2
Visitacion Valley 2,199 91.8
West of Twin Peaks 1,632 79.5
Western Addition 9,999 193.2

Why Is This An Indicator Of Health and Sustainability?

Crime impacts the perceived safety of a neighborhood, inhibiting social interactions and adversely affecting social cohesion.a Residents' worries about safety in their neighborhoods can be a cause of chronic stress.b Fear of crime and feelings of vulnerability to crime can decrease residents' sense of control over their lives and their life satisfaction.c One study found that residents of neighborhoods with greater safety (as reported by other residents of the neighborhood) had less hypertension than residents of neighborhoods with less safety.d Residents' feelings about safety in their neighborhoods can also be a disincentive to engage in physical activity outdoors, particularly among women and older persons.e

A study in Baltimore, Maryland ranked 65 neighborhoods on the Neighborhood Psychosocial Hazards Scale, a combined measure of social disorganization, public safety, physical disorder, and economic deprivation. The researchers then linked the neighborhood measures with health data for a sample of residents. Regardless of age, gender, race, education, smoking or medical history (e.g. hypertension, diabetes), residents were more likely to have had a heart attack if they lived in the most hazardous neighborhoods compared to the least hazardous neighborhoods.f  In a separate study using the same data, researchers found that living in the most hazardous neighborhoods increased the odds of being obese compared to living in the least hazardous neighborhoods of Baltimore. More importantly, this relationship could not be explained away by differences in resident demographics, wealth, education, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, diet, or physical activity.g

Interpretation and Geographic Equity Analysis

This indicator shows the number and rate of property crimes as reported to the San Francisco Police Department between 2010 and 2012.  Property crimes include actual and attempted burglaries, thefts (including of vehicles), arson, and vandalism. 

The highest number of reported property crimes was in South of Market, Downtown/Civic Center, the Mission, Western Addition, and the Financial District.  The highest rate of property crimes per 1,000 residents was Golden Gate Park, Financial District, South of Market, Downtown/Civic Center and North Beach.  Notably, the areas with the highest number of tourist destinations and tourists are the neighborhoods with the highest number and rates of property crime.  In general, with the exception of Golden Gate Park, residents in western San Francisco experience lower incidents and rates of property crime than eastern San Francisco.

Methods

The data for this indicator comes from police incident reports written by the San Francisco Police Department for crimes reported from 2010 to 2012. The types of crimes included are:

  • Burglaries and attempted burglaries
  • Thefts and attempted thefts, not including pickpocketing
  • Stolen vehicles and attempted stealing of vehicles
  • Shoplifting and attempted shoplifting
  • Arson and attempted arson
  • Malicious mischief, including vandalism

Limitations

This indicator gives information about where in San Francisco property crimes took place. It does not provide information about where the perpetrators of the crimes lived. Some crimes may be committed by residents of the community where they take place, while others may not.

Measuring the incidence of crime is extremely difficult. Many crimes go undetected or are not reported to police, and therefore cannot be counted. It is estimated that less than half of crimes in the U.S. are reported. In particular, property crimes are often less likely to be reported than violent crimes. There are many factors—such as gender, the advice of family and friends, and the value of the lost or stolen property— that can affect whether or not a person reports a property crime.a

While crime rates provide insight into patterns about where crimes occur, they do not explain the many factors that influence their occurrence. Very similar crimes may be committed for different reasons by different people or in different areas. Crime is rarely caused by a single risk factor, but rather by the presence of multiple risk factors and the absence of protective (or resiliency) factors. Risk factors are traits or characteristics that increase the chance of an individual or community being affected by or perpetrating crime. Community-level risk factors for property crime include poverty and high levels of unemployment.h Protective factors are traits or characteristics that protect an individual or community from crime. Social cohesion is one community-level protective factor against crime.i   Taken alone, however, a low rate of property crime does not necessarily mean that a neighborhood is socially cohesive. Similarly, it is possible for a neighborhood to be socially cohesive even if it has a high rate of property crime.

The relationship between the built environment, social cohesion, and crime is complex. Being the victim of a crime or living in an area where there is a lot of crime can increase a person's fear of subsequent crime, which in turn can lead him/her to feel isolated and participate less actively in the community.c,i By inhibiting social interaction, therefore, crime can adversely affect social cohesion. This can create a vicious circle, as social cohesion can be a valuable tool in decreasing crime.j In addition, the level of crime perceived by residents of a neighborhood may differ from the actual crime rate, and may be influenced by the residents' feelings of integration into the social fabric of the neighborhood or by other aspects of social cohesion.h,k

Data Source

Data from San Francisco Police Department, 2010-2012. Accessible at: https://data.sfgov.org

Population Data Source: 2010 US Census 

Map and table created by San Francisco Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section using ArcGIS software.

Map data is presented at the level of the census tract. The map also includes planning neighborhood names, in the vicinity of their corresponding census tracts.

Table data is presented by planning neighborhood. While planning neighborhoods are larger geographic areas than census tracts, census tracts do not always lie completely within a planning neighborhood. SFDPH used ArcGIS software and a dasymetric mapping technique to attribute Census block group data to residential lots. We then assigned residential lots to planning neighborhoods to calculate Census population totals within the neighborhoods.

Detailed information regarding census data, geographic units of analysis, their definitions, and their boundaries can be found at the following links:

Interactive boundaries map

http://sfindicatorproject.org/resources/data_map_methods

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  2. Altschuler A, Somkin CP, Adler NE. 2004. Local services and amenities, neighborhood social capital, and health. Social Science & Medicine 59: 1219-1229.

  3. Rountree PW, Land KC. 1996. Perceived risk versus fear of crime: empirical evidence of conceptually distinct reactions in survey data. Social Forces 1996: 1353-1376.

  4. Mujahid MS, Diex Roux AV, Morenoff JD, Raghunathan TE, Cooper RS, Ni H, Shea S. 2008. Neighborhood characteristics and hypertension. Epidemiology 19: 590-598.
  5. Foster S, Giles-Corti B. 2008. The built environment, neighborhood crime, and constrained physical activity: An exploration of inconsistent findings. Preventive Medicine [e-pub ahead of print]. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18499242?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum . Retrieved 6/30/2008.

  6. Augustin T, Glass TA, James BD, Schwartz BS. Neighborhood Psychosocial Hazards and Cardiovascular Disease: The Baltimore Memory Study. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(9):1664-70.

  7. Augustin T, Glass TA, James BD, Schwartz BS. Neighborhood Psychosocial Hazards and Cardiovascular Disease: The Baltimore Memory Study. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(9):1664-70.

  8. Lagrange H. 2003. Crime and socio-economic context. Revue Française de Sociologie 44 (Suppl: An Annual English Selection):29-48.

  9. Adams RE, Serpe RT. 2000. Social integration, fear of crime, and life satisfaction. Sociological Perspectives 43(4):605-629.

  10. Putnam R. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

  11. Sampson RJ, Raudenbush SW. 2004. Neighborhood stigma and the social construction of “broken windows.” Social Psychology Quarterly 2004: 319-342.