The nationwide increase in crime that emerged over the last several years followed a number of attempted criminal justice reforms within mostly Democratic Party-dominated regions. States such as California and New York, among others, passed changes to criminal justice statutes which conservative critics believe led to an increase in crime.
Cities such as San Francisco, Portland and New York City have faced sharply increased crime rates since 2020. Furthermore, much of the crime in these areas is now simply not even reported.
San Francisco has seen among the worst increases in theft, with some metrics showing that about half of the city’s residents have been victims of theft.
— New York Post (@nypost) May 27, 2023
The increase in crime led to photographs shared on social media of products in San Francisco stores being held behind lock and key.
The significant rise in different types of crime, especially shoplifting, has received considerable attention from the middle and right of the political spectrum. Conservatives have argued that changes in Sacramento and beyond sparked the current crisis.
The wave of theft across California follows a number of criminal justice changes over the last several years, which accelerated following the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.
The issue does not solely exist in California. States such as New York passed a bail reform law in 2019 that significantly curtailed the ability of law enforcement to hold criminal suspects related to a number of charges.
Since the passage of the bail reform law, the Empire State saw a sharp increase in retail and violent crime.
The increase in crime sparked criticism within the state.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) pushed for and received a number of rollbacks to her state’s bail reform legislation earlier this year. While all of the original changes were not repealed, local judges will now have more ability to impose bail and other pretrial restrictions on criminal defendants.