Shootings climbed again last year in Berkeley, though bullets fortunately did not claim any lives, according to police data.
That was among the highlights of a report on last year’s crime statistics presented to the Berkeley City Council this week.
Fifty-two shootings occurred in Berkeley in 2021, up from 40 the year before and 28 in 2019. No one was killed in violence last year in Berkeley, compared with five homicides in 2020, according to the data.
Hate crimes, arson and sexual assaults were also up while robberies were down.
Police investigated 42 hate crimes last year, up 250 percent from 12 the previous year. Eight occurred in 2019.
Twenty more arsons were investigated last year compared with 2020. Arsons jumped 38.5 percent, to 72 from 52, in 2021.
Overall, crimes considered major ones that are typical in the U.S. were up nearly 2 percent last year compared with the year before.
Sexual assaults were up about 21 percent, but violent crimes overall were about the same as the year before.
Robberies were off 3.3 percent while aggravated assaults were unchanged, the data show.
Nearly 1,100 automobiles were stolen in Berkeley last year, according to the data. That represents an increase of 36.4 percent from the previous year when about 800 were stolen.
Total property crime was up 2.2 percent.
Berkeley has seen only 10 homicides in the past seven years.
A recent audit of the Police Department shows a frequent use of overtime to maintain minimum staffing levels caused by absences and vacant sworn positions.
City Auditor Jenny Wong expressed concern that officers may be working too much overtime, which could pose a safety risk for officers and the public.
For an archived video of the March 8 City Council, visit the city’s website.