October 18, 2017
Stockton, CA – Despite $90 million in additional funding as a result of sales tax increases, 100 new cops, an Office of Violence Prevention, and the adoption of Ceasefire; violent crime in Stockton has been on a steady increase every year since all of those went into effect. None of those categories that measure violent crime has increased as dramatically as the category of Rape.
Since 2013 to 2016 rape has increased an average of 32%. From the previous three years 2011, 2012 and 2013 there where 90, 90, and 91 rapes reported respectively. In 2014 with all of the above mentioned strategies in place, incidents of rape jumped to 134, 135, and 129 in 2014-2016 according to numbers reported by Stockton Police to the FBI. In 2017 rape is up an additional 20% so far at the time of this article from where it was at the same point in 2016.
In regards to such a dramatic increase, in an interview with KCRA, SPD spokesman Joe Silva not only used numbers for property crime to imply that crime in Stockton is down overall (by 0.7%), he went on record to say:
“That is concerning to us at the police department, but we want the community to know the majority of those reported rapes were either domestic violence classified or prostitution classified and we only have a very small handful of stranger reported rapes”. – Officer Joe Silva
He then proceeds to give the department a pat on the back by suggesting the higher incidents of rape are due to their efforts to have people report incidents (what efforts exactly are unspecified) and not because Stockton has a serious problem on its hands. The implication is that the numbers were lower before because rapes weren’t being reported, yet the department has zero data whatsoever to make such a determination. If incidents weren’t reported how would the department therefore know about them in the first place to even make such a comparison and erroneous claim?
To add further to this clear attempt to spin the facts in what can only be construed as a public relations maneuver, Record editor Donald Blount, wrote an editorial implying and titled “Saftey is in eye of beholder”.
Contrary to the spin, as previously reported here by 209 Times, Stockton not only has a problem with crime overall, but in regards to violent crime, rape included, the city is one of the most dangerous cities in America and perennially the 2nd most violent city in California behind Oakland.
Stockton’s crime ranking by real estate professionals like NeighborhoodScout who provide research for potential buyers and investors gives Stockton a rating of 4, which means 96% of all American cities in the entire country are safer than Stockton. According to the FBI Stockton’s crime rate isperennially 3 to 5 times higher than state and national averages. Here are some facts:
What appears to be happening is that damage control and public relations have become the tools of information dissemination by agencies, businesses, and politicians protecting their image and tax increases like Measure A yielding millions of dollars for city projects while producing opposite results.
To add to the conundrum, the evidence room which include broken refrigerators that hold untested rape kits are in disrepair at the Sheriff’s Department under Steve Moore’s leadership. Fixing the evidence refrigerators that hold these rape kits would be a good first step. Unsolved rapes in the county impact the safety of citizens within the city limits as well.
Stockton needs compassionate police that recognize that crimes of violence against prostitutes are equally as atrocious as any crimes against the wealthiest of women who are more likely to contribute to political campaigns in town.
What the city also needs are leaders who are honest with the public and themselves about the severity of the problem and support real ideas to address it, not more high priced consultant drawn up “marshal plans” and tax increases used in bait and switch sales pitches based on fear tactics to pay for bankruptcy fees and pet projects like Mayor Michael Tubbs providing thousands of tax payer dollars as part of an overall $10,000 cost for his fiancé to conduct a “Women’s Survey”- on a free website.
What’s the point of a survey no one asked for if the raw data we do have is being dismissed. Not to mention the lives it reflects.