As part of our work in supporting the Alameda County Violence Prevention Initiative we recently produced an update of our county Violence Fact Sheet. According to the 2012 uniform crime reports, Alameda County had higher rates of violent crime than California and the Nation. Over the past decade, 2003 to 2013, Alameda County has become increasingly violent while violent crime rates have decreased statewide. A majority of violent crimes continue to occur in Oakland. Although only a quarter of the County's population reside in Oakland, 68% of all violent crimes are reported in Oakland
2012 was a year of increased violence in Alameda County. Compared to 2000, the rate of reported violent crimes in the County has increased by 25% and is close to the 12 year high of 818 reports per 100,000 residents.
The Eden Area Community Profile 2013 was commissioned by Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley to provide both a new baseline for understanding the five diverse communities in the Eden Area and to evaluate the changes since the initial profile was prepared. It is intended to support the work of Phase II of the Eden Area Livability Initiative (EALI) which commenced in 2012.
This profile gives a detailed overview of the area as a whole as well as the five communities contained within the area: Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview and San Lorenzo.
Three key themes thread through each section of this profile: growth, diversity, and disparity. These themes provide an important framework for understanding the changes over the past two decades in the Eden Area and indicate the direction that the Area is moving towards in the future.
Downloaded the latest complete Uniform Crime Reports dataset of crime reports in Alameda County for 2011. We have added this to our running spreadsheet dating back to 1999. Thought I would add this to a good spreadsheet and play with some of there free apps!
If you want the spreadsheet go here:
Otherwise, play with the motion chart below.
Map or download rates and counts of violent and property crime for cities in Alameda County. We offer data going back 10 years as both mappable layers in our dynamic web map or as a downloadable spreadsheets for your own desktop programs. Sorry about the excel format, if you change this to a more friendly format, please send it back to us and we will post it. Also, this data has several caveats including the different ways that localities report crimes and in the different estimates for population used to calculate rates.
To read about our results and why we published this study read this article.
To build our model of the 100 most violent blocks in Oakland, we used ArcGIS (a desktop geographic information system) to determine the intensity of crime for every city block. With crime report data, however, there are some key assumptions and limitations to bear in mind:
In order to deploy resources such as police presence most effectively, it behooves a city to know where criminal activity is most prevalent. Because of the impact on the City and its residents, of most concern are areas where shootings and homicides occur most frequently. This reasoning appears to be a driving factor in the Mayor's Safety Plan released in late 2011: according to the limited city documents released for the plan, 90% of homicides and shootings occurred in 100 blocks. To date the city has published a low resolution map of the 100 blocks but has refused to specify blocks, regions or to provide any useful methodology (exact data used, procedures, assumptions). As a very high profile project, it is unusual for there to be so much secrecy around the exact location of this place-based effort.
As a trusted community intermediary and data resource we have received dozens of inquiries regarding which 100 blocks are the focus of the plan and the crime statistics used to support the selection of these 100 blocks. Since the city chose not to release the details of the blocks or their methods and data, we decided to conduct our own analysis to see if we could develop a similar 100 blocks model with available data.
In this document we share the results of our analyses along with tables and maps we produced and some observations of the implications of our findings. Additionally, we detail our methodology and will make the raw data used for this analysis available for others to replicate and confirm our results. We conclude this report with some lessons about public data that the 100 block example provides for policy makers and community.
Using Oakland Police Department (OPD) data on crime reports from 2007 through 2011, we built two models: the first model covered the entire five-year period and answered the question of which 100 blocks accounted for the most shootings and homicides in the City of Oakland; in the second model we focused only on the 2011 calendar year and identified the 100 blocks with the highest levels of shootings and homicides.
Within the two models we differentiated between two types of shooting offense categories. Our primary analysis includes more serious shootings involving individuals (PC245 A2, PC245 B, PC245 D, PC664/187 A, and PC245 C). We also developed a secondary model and summary statistics using the crime reports that included all types of shootings which includes shootings at vehicles, buildings, firearm exhibition, or firearm discharges (PC245 C, PC246, PC246.3, PC247 B, PC417 C, PC417.8, and PC417.3).
In the five year model (2007-2011), we determined that 17%, or 598 homicides and shootings, occurred within the top 100 blocks in the City. There were a total of 3601 total homicides and shootings in the City over this period.
In 2011, we found that 20% of homicides and shootings (165) were within the top 100 blocks in the City, compared to 845 homicides and shootings in the City overall. (Note that the 100 blocks we identified from just 2011 data varied from those identified using the 5-year data set.)
|Primary Model 2007 - 2011 Homicides & Shootings|
|Within USC 100 Blocks||% Within USC 100 Blocks||Oakland Total|
|Primary Model 2011 Homicides & Shootings|
|Within USC 100 Blocks||% Within USC 100 Blocks||Oakland Total|
Like most measures of social outcomes and neighborhood indicators, crime is not evenly dispersed across the city, so a citywide average does not speak to the reality of every neighborhood in the same way. Our beat level crime maps are powerful tools for examining distribution and change in crime across our city. In 2011 we saw shifts in crime in both the flatlands and the hills, and with some crimes that saw drops overall there were certain neighborhoods that experienced marked increases in these very crimes.
These maps represent crime reports that have been aggregated to police beats for a number of key crime types including robbery, shootings, burglary, property and violent crimes as well as homicides. The accompanying table shows the beat level report summaries for the city as a whole. You can download the complete set of beat level maps here (large 12MB PDF) or click on the maps for a popup slideshow in your browser.
To see a summary table of all crimes in Oakland compared with the past three years and our innovative Crime Calendars check out this post.
(Click image to enlarge)
2011 Violent Crime
In 2011, Oakland experienced a number of changes in crime patterns when compared to previous years. Overall, reported violent crime in 2011 was almost identical in volume to 2010 with 6,805 reports, while property crimes saw a 5.4% increase over the prior year, up to 25,995. Major changes in citywide indicators included a drastic jump in assaults with a firearm [245(a)(2)] up 25.5% in 2010, and up 27.6% compared to the previous five-year average. Domestic violence saw a marked drop of almost 20 percent, which is the unusual due to the fact that domestic violence is the only crime benchmark that typically increases with high unemployment levels. Likewise, reported incidences of rape were down 26.3%, and both drugs and prostitution saw large drops of 43.4% and 16.8%, respectively. However, there is a caveat that comes with drug and vice crime report statistics: reported drug and vice crimes are almost entirely dependent on police action--no active raids or stings effectively means no crime from a pure statistical perspective.
While in-home robbery was down from a high in 2010, the 198 reports still represent a 32.9% increase compared to the past five years. Carjackings declined compared to 2010, and over previous years, down 24.5% from 2010 to 2011 (188).
To see how crime was distributed across the city and how it changed according to police beats, read our related post on beat level crime maps.
Download the full table of data in a Google spreadsheet here.
* Over/Under compares the change in 2011 from the previous 5-year average.
* Note these totals are based on all reported crimes provided by OPD and will not accurately reflect official UCR reported totals due to
methodology differences. These numbers represent total counts of reports of each crime type.
Download the full PDF version of the 2011 Oakland Crime Calendars here.
The City of Oakland and Urban Strategies Council have developed a new Stressor model for the city using the latest available neighborhood data.
This model provides a rank for every Community Police Beat in Oakland that indicates the relatively high or low levels of 'stress' on a neighborhood. The new model has been adjusted to account for newly available data and also certain data such as poverty that are no longer available from the Census Bureau. The indicators of stress include arrests, crime reports, food stamp recipients, youth incarceration and probation, violent suspensions and chronic absence for OUSD students.
Each Community Police Beat is ranked from 1 through to 57 with 1 indicating the most stressed beat in the city. Beat 34X is the highest ranked beat in 2011.
2011 Top 5 Beats
4 35X5 06X
It's almost the end of 2011 and perhaps a strange time to release a report on an issue so immediate and dire as homicides in our city for the past year, but due to data flow and multiple priorities for our team we're only just getting to our update of this valuable report. This report presents the available data on homicides occurring in Oakland in 2010 and is made possible through the detailed data maintained by OPD's Homicide Branch. Urban Strategies Council has been producing these reports for several years and we'll be updating this new site with our historical reports very soon too. A few key highlights are included in this article, download the PDF for the entire report.
City Wide: Homicides Declined on a Yearly Basis from 2006 to 2010, Yet Remained High
In Oakland in 2010, 90 people lost their lives to violence, while in the 5 year period between 2006 and 2010, our community lost 594 people. Despite these staggering statistics, the numbers killed have been declining on a yearly basis during this period.
Count of Homicides Per Year