Safety and security are among the most basic of human needs. Residents' worries about safety in their neighborhoods can be a cause of chronic stress.[i] Fear of crime and feelings of vulnerability to crime can decrease residents' sense of control over their lives and their life satisfaction.[ii] One study found that residents of neighborhoods with greater self-reported safety had less hypertension than residents of neighborhoods with less safety.[iii] Feeling unsafe can also be a disincentive to engage in physical activity outdoors, particularly for women and older persons.[iv]
A study in Baltimore, Maryland ranked 65 neighborhoods on the Neighborhood Psychosocial Hazards Scale, a combined measure of social disorganization, public safety, physical disorder, and economic deprivation. The researchers then linked the neighborhood measures with health data for a sample of residents. Regardless of age, gender, race, education, smoking or medical history (e.g. hypertension, diabetes), residents were more likely to have had a heart attack if they lived in the most hazardous neighborhoods compared to the least hazardous neighborhoods.[v] In a separate study using the same data, researchers found that living in the most hazardous neighborhoods increased the odds of being obese compared to living in the least hazardous neighborhoods of Baltimore. More importantly, this relationship could not be explained away by differences in resident demographics, wealth, education, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, diet, or physical activity.[vi]
The overall crime rate in the CMTL boundary increased by 2% between 2011 and 2017, with a peak in 2013. The crime rate for the city overall increased by 11% over that five year period, with a peak in 2015. During that time there were notable decreases in drug crime in both CMTL and the city (45% and 50% respectively), while property crime increased by 77% and 55% in CMTL and city respectively. Violent crime rates stayed relatively consistent between 2011-2017. Crime rates in CMTL remain about three time higher than the city overall.
In 2017, crime was the most concentrated around 5th and Market, Eddy and Jones, UN Plaza, 6th and Mission, and Golden Gate and Hyde.
Crime data from the San Francisco Police Department. Found here: https://data.sfgov.org/Public-Safety/SFPD-Incidents-from-1-January-2003…
Population data from the 2010 US Census.
[i] Altschuler A, Somkin CP, Adler NE. 2004. Local services and amenities, neighborhood social capital, and health. Social Science & Medicine 59: 1219-1229
[ii] Rountree PW, Land KC. 1996. Perceived risk versus fear of crime: empirical evidence of conceptually distinct reactions in survey data. Social Forces 1996: 1353-1376.
[iii] Mujahid MS, Diex Roux AV, Morenoff JD, Raghunathan TE, Cooper RS, Ni H, Shea S. 2008. Neighborhood characteristics and hypertension. Epidemiology 19: 590-598.
[iv] Foster S, Giles-Corti B. 2008. The built environment, neighborhood crime, and constrained physical activity: An exploration of inconsistent findings. Preventive Medicine 2008 Sep;47(3):241-51.
[v] Augustin T, Glass TA, James BD, Schwartz BS. Neighborhood Psychosocial Hazards and Cardiovascular Disease: The Baltimore Memory Study. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(9):1664-70.
[vi] Augustin T, Glass TA, James BD, Schwartz BS. Neighborhood Psychosocial Hazards and Cardiovascular Disease: The Baltimore Memory Study. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(9):1664-70.