(PresidentialInsider.com)- A poll released this past week from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce shows that crime and homelessness rank among the highest concerns for city residents. As a result, more than 40% of respondents said they are planning to move out of the city in the next few years.
The poll of more than 500 San Francisco registered voters found that 80% say crime has worsened in recent years while 88% say homelessness has worsened as well. Surprisingly only 70% believe the quality of life in San Francisco has declined.
CBS San Francisco interviewed one woman, a 12-year resident of the city, as she was packing up to move. She told the station that she was relieved to be leaving. “There’s nothing worse than seeing such a beautiful place in such disarray.”
Crime has become such a chronic problem that San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who had in February announced that she planned to divert $120 million in funding away from the San Francisco Police Department, announced in May that she would be increasing police presence in the high-crime Tenderloin and Mid-Market districts of the city.
But it isn’t just a lack of police presence that is fueling San Francisco’s crime wave. Much of the problem stems from a recent change in California law that lowered the penalty for non-violent thefts under $950.00.
Retail businesses are bearing the brunt of this lack of enforcement. Smaller retailers who cannot afford to hire private security are left to fend for themselves. Shoplifting has skyrocketed in San Francisco and businesses, already struggling from the COVID lockdowns, are choosing to close rather than lose money to the shoplifters who are robbing them blind.
Even national chains like Walgreens and CVS have been closing stores within San Francisco as a result of the unfettered shoplifting epidemic. In the past five years, Walgreens has closed seventeen locations in the city. CVS, which called San Francisco “the epicenter of organized retail crime,” closed down at least two.