Earlier this year, we blogged about Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and her new plan to crack down on crime in the most dangerous 100 blocks of the city. The plan for her was to increase enforcement in these areas where the “majority” of the city’s crime was taking place. Now, however, Quan is backtracking, admitting the data she had on these blocks and crime rate was flawed.
When promoting her ‘100 block’ crack-down, Quan said that these blocks accounted for 90% of the city’s crime. Immediately after this claim, people began questioning the information.
According to the San Francisco Gate, Quan has admitted her information was wrong, but seems to stumble over where the mistake was made. One thing is sure in her admittance, however, and that’s that she needs to review the data herself before reporting it or basing an entire policing system on it.
She still plans on focusing on these areas, which actually make up more like 17% of the city’s crime, not 90%. She maintains that these blocks are where concentrated violent crime happen, despite other city officials saying her super-focused method will neglect other areas of the city.
“To me, the plan is about giving people in this city a false sense of hope that the mayor has really put together a strategy to deal with the major issue in this city that’s affecting the quality of life,” said city councilman Larry Reid. “Crime is much broader than those 100 blocks. It’s a plan you can’t sustain.”
For now, Quan seems confused on where she got her incorrect data. One minute, she received it from word of mouth at community meetings, and another she was given the 90% figure from one of her advisers. She does admit, however, that she needs to do more research herself before coming forward with statistics.
While increased enforcement and community support may be good for the 100 blocks chosen by Quan, it could leave other communities in need out of luck. With the Oakland Police Department only carrying 642 officers (the lowest amount in department memory), officers will be spread thin.
There are neighborhoods that get bad raps and there are neighborhoods that are obviously more dangerous than others. But no matter where you are from, you have rights when you are arrested and charged with a crime.