Almost half of San Francisco residents are planning on moving out of the city due to rising crime and a deteriorating quality of life, according to a recent poll.
The poll of 500 San Franciscans, commissioned by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, showed that just over 40% of residents plan to move out of the city in the next few years.
Additionally, 8 out of 10 people polled said crime has increased in the city, and almost 90% of those polled said they believe that the homeless crisis has gotten worse. Roughly three-quarters of residents in San Francisco said their quality of life has declined over the past year.
“For the second year in a row, 70% of residents feel that the quality of life in San Francisco has declined,” the chamber wrote. “Considered in light of the pandemic, these views are somewhat unsurprising. However, what stands out in the polling results is the strikingly high and consistent number of respondents who now view homeless and crime as the leading problems facing the City. Roughly 88% see homelessness as having worsened in recent years, and an overwhelming 80% see addressing this homelessness crisis as a high priority.”
Lindsay Stevens, a San Francisco resident for 12 years who recently left the city, told CBS Bay Area that she felt relieved as she loaded her belongings into a moving truck.
“There’s nothing worse than seeing such a beautiful place in such disarray,” she said. “I really thought I was going to be sad when the movers loaded up the last container on Saturday, and I have never been more relieved."
Stevens added: “I honestly think in the last three years, we’ve seen a massive decline in the quality of life, and that was only enhanced over COVID. The homelessness has been a severe problem. People are not feeling safe walking their dog. ... The number of break-ins seem to be constantly on the rise.”
Police statistics show certain crimes have been increasing in California’s fourth-largest city, including a significant surge in car burglaries, which are up as much as 700% in some areas.
San Francisco’s police chief has pointed the finger at two factors: not enough police on the streets and criminals being let out of jail due to relaxed prosecuting.
"These same people ... are going into the stores and snatching property," San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott told CNN. "Once we arrest them, we find out they've been arrested over and over again. It's frustrating."
In the poll, 76% of San Franciscans said that “it should be a high priority for the city to increase the number of police officers in high-crime neighborhoods.”
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Original Author: Andrew Mark Miller
Original Location: 40% of San Francisco residents plan to leave due to quality of life: Poll