Historic Investment in Fighting Retail Theft and Crime
It seems like hardly a day goes by that some video goes viral on social media showing groups of criminals brazenly robbing local retail businesses and perpetrating other acts of property crime. Not only do these crimes have direct financial and other impacts on business owners and customers, they instill a sense of fear and anxiety among residents and visitors about the safety of our cities, streets and neighborhoods.
So, it was welcome news this week when Gov. Newsom announced he is making the largest-ever investment by the state to combat organized retail crime, smash-and-grabs and other property crimes. The $267 million will be awarded to local police departments and prosecutors to bolster their retail crime response.
The Bay Area Council last year prioritized crime and public safety at the top of its policy agenda, recognizing the critical importance of these issues to the ability of cities and the region to attract visitors and businesses, counter negative media that portrays some of our cities as lawless and help bring back visitors and workers to our downtown areas. The Council currently is working with police departments around the region to develop a police officer recruitment campaign to address critical staffing shortages. To engage in the Council’s crime and public safety policy work, please contact Policy Director Laura Hill.