Update from The Grand Lake Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC)

Council member Abel Guillen and Oakland Police Department (OPD) Captain Freddie Hamilton attended the May 18th Grand Lake NCPC to discuss recent crimes in the neighborhood and also to report on crime statistics. Oakland is divided into 5 police areas – Captain Hamilton is Commander for Area 3, which is bordered by the Estuary to the south, Redwood Regional Park to the north, and Lakeshore and 35th Avenues to the west and east. Area 3 is divided into 13 beats and LHA falls within beats 16X & 16Y.

OPD statistics show that crime in the city of Oakland has been trending down the last 3 years – this year crime is down by approximately 15%. While Area 3 has a relatively high number of robberies, our beats of 16X and 16Y are a very small fraction of these crimes. Meeting attendees asked Captain Hamilton why Area 3 is seeing a high incidence of robberies and he relayed that Area 3 is “target rich,” due to the abundance of high end, resalable items like electronics and cars, and there is ample opportunity. If you are the victim of a crime, you should report it to OPD no matter how small the loss. Reporting crimes helps OPD focus their patrols to neighborhoods that are experiencing increased criminal activity. To report a non-emergency crime, call (510) 777-3333 or you can also file many types of crime in an online police report, found here: https://secure.coplogic.com/dors/en/filing/selectincidenttype?dynparam=1464380322501

While auto theft is usually committed by specialized criminals, it’s believed that about 75% of the recent crimes in our area were committed by East Oakland gang members. After a recent mugging attempt in our neighborhood, the suspects that were taken into custody included gang members that were only 13 years old with no criminal history. Captain Hamilton commented that there has been a big reduction in burglaries in the parking lots behind the Grand Lake Theater and under the freeway, since signs were added reminding people not to leave valuables in their cars.

With the latest group of Police Academy graduates, OPD’s Patrol Division is now fully staffed. Beat officers are on duty 24/7 and there is also a new patrol officer walking Lakeshore Avenue during the daytime hours.

Regarding OPD’s use of video or red light cameras to capture license plates of cars involved in criminal activity, Captain Hamilton responded that Oakland doesn’t have either type of camera installed in the city, due to privacy issues raised by residents. He does feel that video footage can be useful and encouraged neighbors to work together to coordinate their camera coverage.

Important numbers to know:
Emergency – call 911 or from cell phone, 510-777-3211
Non-emergency – call 510-777-3333
Tips may be made anonymously:
Homicide tip line – call 510-238-7950
Gun tip line – call 510-535-4867