by UnHerd
Tuesday, 6
July 2021
Spotted
11:09

Decriminalising crime continues to hurt San Francisco

The city's liberal approach to petty crime is wreaking havoc on ordinary citizens
by UnHerd
Locals walk past a boarded up Old Navy Inc. store in San Francisco, California. Credit: Getty

Last month, video footage of a shoplifting incident in San Francisco made headlines around the world. 

That’s not because there was anything special about the crime, but because it was typical of a city in which retail offences have become routine. San Francisco’s approach to petty theft is now so lax that criminals make no attempt to conceal what they’re up to. 

Of course, when video footage of a crime goes viral it becomes embarrassing not to arrest the perpetrator and, in this case, that’s what happened. However, the great majority of shoplifting cases in San Francisco don’t end in arrest — thus encouraging the city’s petty criminals to help themselves. 

It’s not just small corner stores reeling under the impact — multinationals are adapting to the lawless climate, too. The latest to suffer is Target, a major US retailer. It has been forced to limit trading hours in all six of its San Francisco stores. Shutting up shop at 6pm, instead of the normal 10pm, avoids the popular evening shift for shoplifters. 

The mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, says that restricting hours of business is not the answer, but what else does she expect retailers to do? Also, how does she explain the fact that Target hasn’t felt the need to do the same anywhere else in America? The city’s extraordinary experiment with liberalising the law on drug offences and petty theft has produced some nightmarish results.

Meanwhile, the District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, has just announced a “bold new policy directive”: all the staff in his office will now be mandated to ask and use the preferred pronouns of everyone in the criminal justice system.  At a press conference, Boudin said that “here in San Francisco…we are leaders in modeling respect and modeling dignity and compassion, in all aspects of our society, including in our legal system.”

However respect, dignity and compassion also requires that law abiding citizens be able to go about their daily business in peace and safety — and on that front San Francisco is anything but a leader. While those at the top of the socio-economic ladder can afford to play pretend with boutique, ‘woke’ concerns, it is the ordinary citizens of the city who must bare the brunt of these foolish policies.

How long can this go on for? Indefinitely, is the probable answer — so long as the tech giants of Silicon Valley don’t quit en masse for Texas. And, of course, the same industry has a variety of solutions for people who can’t get to the shops because the shutters are down. There is no better harbinger for increasing atomisation, and the reliance on new ‘gig economy’ services that serve it, than social disintegration. 

Thus San Francisco’s weird dystopia is thus likely to continue: progressive politics presiding over extreme inequality; and hi-tech modernity alongside abject squalor.

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Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
10 months ago

When are lefties ever going to realize that few criminals ever commit crime because “the system” made them do it, they commit crime because most of them are immoral — or even amoral — scroats? They do it because they can, and they will continue to do it for as long as they’re let. It’s just easier than working.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
10 months ago

“It’s just easier than working.”

I rather doubt you know anything about being a criminal. It is likely the hardest way to make a $ there is. I bet You could not make a living off crime, it just is not viable unless you figure out some real crime gig which few of these idiots have.

These are just what I call the ‘Fringe’, the ‘Underclass’ they exist outside of our social norms, poor, lots of vices, mostly ignorant, mostly unemployable (because even if they do well at a job – they will Fu* k it up given a bit of time). They are unsocialized, do not have the ability to fallow a schedule, to be polite, to not act out inappropriately…..

We pay them to have children, and so we have more of them every year. In fact being paid to have children is the main industry of the underclass. That is how our modern society is, crazy. We also encourage migration of more.

In the past, by having strict enforcement of laws by police who were paid to protect the taxpayers from this kind, they kept it to their own communities, but now this has changed…..

In Fact Biden, that person who hates America as it was, is now adding on to his ‘Infrastructure’ bill Vast amounts of money and laws for low income to be housed in Middle Class neighborhoods accross America. This is coming to your street soon, if 2022, and 2024, Biden and his Squad keep power,

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
10 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

In Phila. last ummer, Jamamican gangs who commit crimes for a living were a main element in the looting.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
10 months ago

I am, or was, a leftie”. Whatever the reason that people commit crimes, other people have the right to be protected against such. Immpoverished people stealing an inexpensive pair of shoes have a right to be heard and voice their plea for mitigation. Retailers at any level have a right to have their complaints taken seriously. And people who simply stel high end luxuiries on a regualar basis should be tried for their crimes.

Michael James
Michael James
10 months ago

San Francisco sets the fashions that the rest of the world follows. Time to explore other parts of the galaxy.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael James

Perhaps this will prove to be the point at which that particular generalisation ceases to hold any truth.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
10 months ago

And the “who could have seen this coming?” award goes too…

Last edited 10 months ago by Matt Hindman
Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
10 months ago

We have a milder version of this already in Canada. My friend had a tenant steal all the appliances and fixtures out of his just-renovated apartment (he is not rich, he had moved in with his fiancee). He knew who it was who did it, the neighbours had seen it happen. He had her cell number, description, name, and license plate number. The police had no interest in it and didn’t even come file a report.