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Oakland Among Riskiest Cities to Live in the US, New Ranking Shows

Some Bay Area cities are among the safest places to live in the country while others in the region are among the riskiest, according to a new ranking from Wallethub.

Wallethub assessed living in 182 big cities around the U.S. Fremont ranks the highest among California cities as the 17th safest city to live in the country. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Oakland ranks among the riskiest cities to live in the U.S.

Wallethub compared 182 cities, including 150 of the most populated cities in the country and looked at three key dimensions: home and community safety; natural disaster risk; and financial safety.

Within those three dimensions, there were 42 metrics considered. It ranked Oakland as the eighth riskiest city in the country over all, including the second riskiest in home and community safety.

Safety has been an issue in Oakland, specifically with the rise in post-pandemic violent crime. Homicides were up more than 50% in 2021, surpassing 100 homicides for the first time in a decade. And with three months to go in 2022, the homicide toll once again has eclipsed 100.

Also, more than 1,100 firearms have been recovered in the city this year.

The head of the Prosecutors Alliance of California says part of the problem is an increase in guns in the hands of the wrong people. Legal gun sales increased by 18% during the pandemic. She says that enforcing red flag laws already on the books in California would prevent gun violence before it happens.

“If we can remove guns from individuals for severe mental disability or pervious acts of violence, removing those guns from those individuals reduces violence,” said Cristine Soto DeBerry, executive director of the Prosecutors Alliance of California. “Those are the strategies we can be using that don’t involve punishment or reaction after the fact.”

While there is a concerning rise in violence, Soto DeBerry adds that crime had been at historic lows before the pandemic, including dips in violent crime we haven’t seen since the 1960s.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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