Talk of the Town: Is crime surging in Oakland? How has it affected how you live?

Dera Williams asked Oakland residents if crime is surging and if it has changed how they live?

With constant news coverage and social media posts about surging crime in Oakland, many Oaklanders are concerned with their personal safety. 

To understand perceptions of safety and how people are adjusting their lives, Oakland Voices correspondent Dera R. Williams asked residents. “Do you perceive there has been a surge in crime in Oakland and if so, how has it affected the way you move or conduct your day-to-day life?”

Note: Talk of the Town highlights Oakland residents talking about the Town (aka the city of Oakland).

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this Vox Pop included a quote from a resident responsible for causing harm to another individual. In our effort to minimize harm, be accountable and transparent to the community, Oakland Voices has removed their response. We apologize to the family for any additional harm you may have experienced and hope you continue to heal from your loss.

Bennie Meador

“I’m scared to eat in restaurants in Oakland, but I feel safer in my neighborhood because I am a member of the Neighborhood Watch and the police respond to us in a timely manner.”

Bennie Meador, Arroyo Viejo (East Oakland)

Lesley Mandros-Bell

“It’s not so much that there is more crime, but it seems the police are less concerned about some crimes that used to get more attention.”

Lesley Mandros-Bell, Piedmont neighborhood

Is crime on the rise in Oakland? If so, how has it affected you or how you live your life? If not, what explains perception of increased crime?

Author Profile

Dera R. Williams is a lifelong Oakland resident whose family was a part of the Great Migration. Her published writings capture the hardships, heroism, and the joys of families making that journey in both fiction and nonfiction. Dera will soon share her novel with the world and is pioneering that path to publication. Exploring the relationship between myth and honoring oral and family history, she honors the voices of her ancestors in her storytelling.

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