“Smash-and-grab is fast becoming a way of life” in California, says Ayaan Hirsi Ali in UnHerd. Just the other day, two of my close friends were robbed near San Francisco: one in their own restaurant, the other in a rental car. Since November thousands of dollars have been stolen from stores such as Apple, Burberry and Louis Vuitton. Jamie McBride, of the Los Angeles Police Department, told tourists last week: “We can’t guarantee your safety. It is really, really out of control.”
Once we would have been shocked by this level of crime. But the rich are choosing to ignore it. They’re pulling up the drawbridge by hiring personal security and building tall fences around their homes. “I’ve seen this all before” in Nairobi, Latin America and India. Those who cannot afford to adapt flee the city or the state. But how did we get into this dire situation? The fault lies with the rich, who “take for granted” the institutions that protect our society. Wealthy Californian liberals are the least affected by crime, but the loudest advocates of “leniency towards criminals” and defunding the police. By undermining the criminal justice system, they’re putting the lives of ordinary Americans at risk.
Why it matters Homelessness, drug addiction and mental illness have “gone through the roof” in San Francisco, says Melanie Phillips in The Times. Homelessness rose from 5,404 to 8,124 between 2005 and 2020, despite declining in the US as a whole. Between 2014 and 2018, complaints about human waste on streets almost doubled and reports of hypodermic needles in public places soared from 224 to 6,275.
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