SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Pandemic crime is hitting all-time highs in California. State officials released the official crime report for 2020, calling the numbers “unacceptable”.
In at least one local county, homicides nearly doubled in the span of a year. Data show homicides statewide surged 31 percent in 2020.READ MORE: 'It Meant The World To Me': Oakdale Officer Thanks Citizens Who Helped Him After Hit-And-Run
“When a person is desperate, when a person is pushed to desperation, they’ll end up doing anything just to pay the bills and put food on the table,” said Berry Accius, Voice of the Youth founder.
Accius said a lack of job opportunities and resources made a crime problem that already existed even worse.
“A lot of these families are turning to drugs, a lot of these families are turning to small petty crimes, and small petty crimes become bigger things,” Accius said.
In some counties, the data tells a concerning story – one where an increase in homicides was the norm.READ MORE: Could Mask Mandates Drive Business To Surrounding Counties Who Don't Have One?
From 2019 to 2020, Sacramento County saw about the same increase in homicides as the state: 30%. San Joaquin County surged, seeing a 70% increase in homicides, and Solano County numbers were really startling, with a 90% increase.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement, “The increases we’ve seen during this pandemic are unacceptable. In California and across the country, gun violence, in particular, continues to be a uniquely American health crisis.”
For Accius, the solution starts on a hyper-local level.
“If there’s infrastructure that needs to be built, let’s build the infrastructure. Let’s say there’s a healthcare facility that needs to be built, let’s build the healthcare facility,” he said.MORE NEWS: Kaiser Permanente Sued By Federal Government Over Alleged Medicare Fraud
To see what the data looks like in your area, go here.