Ben Scott 
Member since Oct 9, 2013


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Re: “Reality Check: Violent Crime Is Down in Oakland


I did state that the "impacted percentage" did not take those variables into account. (I should have said "we" and instead of "you" to make the point more clear) It's just those numbers give a lot more insight about the reality of things, (and it doesn't fear monger). But it still doesn't give full insight.

I say crime is down and you say it's still too high. But Jeff, I agree with you. 83% of Oakland's general fund pays for public safety. Laying off police officers was unavoidable. So after 4 years of decreasing crime, we now have increased crime and fewer officers.

Today, Oakland can fund more police academies because of increased tax revenue generated from new businesses, new residents, new restuarants, and increased tourism and hotel activity.

Fear mongering Oakland only deters businesses from starting up or relocating here; families from moving here; and tourists from visiting here. That's impeding our productive tax base, which prevents us from allocating the much needed resources to libraries, schools, police academies, etc.

So I think it is a great thing to acknowledge that crime is decreasing, especially when it is decreasing.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ben Scott on 10/17/2013 at 11:51 AM

Re: “Reality Check: Violent Crime Is Down in Oakland


Derived from the FBI data, here’s a list of the total crime within cities that are of Oakland’s population range, as well as the percentage of the city impacted:

Cleveland, OH: 29,758 (7.61%)
Oakland, CA: 34,304 (8.56%)
Miami, FL: 27,127 (6.55%)
Fresno, CA: 28,485 (5.63%)
Atlanta, GA: 34,581 (7.79%)
Kansas City, MI: 31,504 (6.78%)

Here's the problem. You came up with a simplistic/incomplete analysis based off raw data, without factoring in the significant variables that affect the volume, extent, and nature of crime. This is what criminologist have to say:

A city’s crime rate equals the number of crime victims (the numerator) divided by the city population (the denominator). If a Berkeley resident is a victim of crime in Oakland, they are added to the numerator but not the denominator in calculating Oakland’s crime rate. This artificially inflates the crime rate.

Oakland (pop. 400,000) is the principal city of the East Bay Area (pop. 2.5 million). Hundreds of thousands commute to and through Oakland daily, with millions of visitors annually. The number of people in Oakland (daily) dwarfs it's own resident population.

To suggest this "high likelihood" premise, you would be omitting the fact and possibility that Non-residents are ALSO crime victims. The crime rate does not tell how many of THESE people (non-residents) are crime victims vs actual residents themselves. Even the (8.56%) doesn't take this into account. If it did, it would be MUCH lower.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ben Scott on 10/12/2013 at 7:38 PM

Re: “Reality Check: Violent Crime Is Down in Oakland


In mobile device related robberies, the mobile device was the target. The act itself reflects opportunity and anonymity, as mobile devices are valuable and ubiquitous.

Correlation is not causation, but it's a hint. To dismiss it entirely, as if it isn't suggestive of causation is counterproductive.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Ben Scott on 10/12/2013 at 2:29 PM

Re: “Reality Check: Violent Crime Is Down in Oakland


You are right. It is definitely the fault of the perpetrator. But understanding crime and it's motivating factors helps with prevention. People should always take precautionary measures when dealing with both personal security and safety. If the concern is robbery, assess your individual crime risk - being cautious when using your mobile device on public streets is a smart choice because 7.5 out of 10 robberies are mobile device related.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Ben Scott on 10/11/2013 at 7:01 PM

Re: “Reality Check: Violent Crime Is Down in Oakland


There is no evidence that suggest an "extremely high" likelihood of victimization or knowing a victimized person in Oakland. Period.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, mobile devices are attributed to 20-40 percent of robberies nationwide. In New York City its 40%; in San Francisco its +-50%; in Oakland its 75%.

By simply making smarter decisions about your mobile device on public streets will significantly decrease your chance of becoming robbed.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ben Scott on 10/11/2013 at 3:07 PM

Re: “Reality Check: Violent Crime Is Down in Oakland


The problem is that crime statistics are misinterpreted.

Perception is created through the media's sensational crimes stories about Oakland: One dimensional media coverage. Its unfortunate that your social circle have become victims of violent crime. But to suggest that your experience translates to everyone else's reality is not in accordance with facts. Whether Oakland has 5000-7000 violent crimes, that only equates to 1.75% of Oakland's population affected by violent crime.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Ben Scott on 10/10/2013 at 9:07 PM

Re: “Reality Check: Violent Crime Is Down in Oakland


That's interesting, but it should not surprise anyone. NYC wants to bill itself as the "safest big city in America." Without getting into how geographic happenstance - not actual crime - can significantly affect a city's ranking on "Most Dangerous Cities" list, I must reiterate the point that reporting practices within cities differ in degree. Thanks for the NPR info, I didn't know they covered it. I will join in on locating that NPR segment.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ben Scott on 10/10/2013 at 1:52 AM

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