Has the violent crime rate in San Francisco gone up since the election of a reform-minded District Attorney?

Sunday, September 12, 2021
By Austin Tannenbaum

Data indicates that San Francisco’s downward trend in violent crime has continued since Chesa Boudin, an advocate of progressive criminal-justice reforms, became the city’s District Attorney in 2020.

The city police department reports a decline in violent crimes since 2017:

  • 2017: 63,489.
  • 2018: 59,379.
  • 2019: 57,775.
  • 2020: 44,423.
  • 2021 (to September 5): 30,978.

Notably, the biggest drop occurred in 2020, Boudin’s first year in office. However, it is difficult to attribute any causation to his policy changes given that crime rates dropped nationally due to the pandemic.

San Francisco’s crime rate so far in 2021 is 0.8% higher than in the same period in 2020 (January 1 to September 5).

A second attempt to recall Boudin is underway after an attempt earlier in 2021 failed to garner sufficient public support. His policies are at “the polarizing core” of a community debate over policing and prosecution policies, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
Between 2020 and 2022, under close editorial supervision, Gigafact contracted a group of freelance writers and editors to test the concepts for fact briefs and provide inputs to our software development process. We call this effort Gigafact Foundry. Over the course of these two years, Gigafact Foundry writers published over 1500 fact briefs in response to claims they found online. Their important work forms the basis of Gigafact formats and editorial guidelines, and is available to the public on Gigafact.org. Readers should be aware that while there is still a lot of relevant information to be found, not all fact briefs produced by Gigafact Foundry reflect Gigafact's current methods and standards for fact briefs. If you come across any that you feel are out of date and need to be looked at with fresh eyes, don't hesitate to contact us at support@gigafact.org.