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Rise in assaults and accidents?

Original post made by Wondering on Jan 10, 2011

It seems like every few days now there's a report on this site of someone being assaulted or hit by a car (or bus) in Palo Alto. When I checked on's crime statistics for Palo Alto, I found that indeed there was a significant increase in assaults in 2009, relative to the years before (69 versus 34 in 2008, 18 in 2007, and 29 in 2006). Does anyone know what's behind this, and do people still feel Palo Alto (not East Palo Alto!) is a safe place to live, or is there a sense that crime and accidents are becoming more common? Thanks in advance.

Comments (4)

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

Perhaps this is an issue that the cops can address? It may be worth a phone call to see what info they can contribute. Also, is it worthwhile to see what's happening w/similar crimes in Menlo & Mountain View? They both have busy downtown areas.

Posted by Not a safe place to live, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Yes the crime is getting higher. I remember when I bought my house in Palo Alto, I did research on how much crime there was in this town, and there were almost nothing, except someone breaking into a car, or someone falling down downtown, little things, but this time, the police is always busy and is trying to protect its residents, but they are not having success. Things keep happening, people are getting hurt by the bad guys who want to take your money or belongings, and even worst, the streets have more traffic, which might be due to new housing, which brings more cars into he city. There is also a lot of use of drugs and alcohol among our teens and college students. Teens feeling depress and ending their lives. Palo Alto does not feel as safe nor nice place to live as it did when I got here (ten years ago).

Posted by Wondering, a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Menlo Park and Mountain View both have crime issues, but there doesn't seem to be this same trend. I lived in Palo Alto back in the 1980s and still visit fairly often, and although it makes sense that lots of things would have changed in the intervening years, the increase in the number of assaults (per 100,000 people) is disturbing. Plus, I can't help wondering why people keep getting hit by cars and buses. Maybe it is just that there are a lot more people coming into the city now and there's a lot more traffic. It's puzzling, though, because if you look at the data for some other affluent cities elsewhere in California, you don't see that same increase.

As for depression and drug/alcohol use among the teens and college students, you'd think those rates would be similar in comparable communities.

Posted by mv, a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Crime is a lot worse in Mountain View than in Palo Alto. There were a number of high-profile street crimes in Mountain View last year, including street robberies with assault weapons near San Antonio Road, a major gang bust with dozens of police officers sweeping through California Ave, and a few home invasion robberies. These were all reported by the local press. Palo Alto is pretty tame in comparison.

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