San Francisco Crime 2003 to 2021

Updated on Saturday, February 12, 2022

San Francisco Crime 2003 to 2021

San Francisco is apparently going to hell with criminals free to do as they please with no fear of consequences. I decided to take a look at the data.

The video above shows a timelapse of SFPD incidents from 2003 through yesterday. Each frame is a day and shows incidents from the previous seven days. The top left corner of the video shows the date and the seven day count of incidents.

I grouped the reported categories into a few colors. Red is used for murder and rape. Orange for arson and kidnapping. Yellow for thefts and assaults. Purple for sex and drugs. Grey for anything else. I excluded some categories from the data (recovered vehicle, traffic collision, case closure and non-criminal).

SFPD reports the location of incidents as the closest intersection. To keep everything visible I move the location randomly within a tenth of a mile where there is a specific location reported. For crimes without a location I use a random spot within half a mile of the center of the police district (or the center of San Francisco if the district is missing - this is unusual).

The volume of incidents changes a bit during the ~18 years shown in the video, but the only real outlier is the dip following the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2000. Crime picks back up after this but so far hasn't returned to the level it was at before the pandemic.

Police incidents come from two datasets: Police Department Incident Reports: 2018 to Present and Police Department Incident Reports: Historical 2003 to May 2018. San Francisco is plotted using Elevation Contours. The pre and post 2018 data sets use different categories but I coded both to the set of colors outlined above. There is a drop in incidents right at the end of the video which I expect is caused by incomplete data rather than any change in crime rate.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: San Francisco Crime 2003 to 2021 #timelapse #sanfrancisco #crime #datalapse #coronavirus #video Timelapse video animation showing crimes in San Francisco color coded by category from 2003 to 2021 using SFPD incident reports from )

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