Pacific Beach residents want tougher punishments for crime - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Pacific Beach residents want tougher punishments for crime

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Pacific Beach has one of the highest crime rates in San Diego and residents are fed up.

Residents are banding together by introducing a measure called Keep Cal Safe that would enact tougher laws to keep repeat offenders off the streets.

“A lot of the residents in Pacific Beach are just fed up and we want some law changes and that’s the only way some of these criminals are going to be dealt with properly,” Racheal Allen.

Racheal is part of a group of Pacific Beach neighbors fighting to find ways to curb the area’s rising crime rates.

Statistic show out of 126 San Diego communities, Pacific Beach has the second highest crime with 216 violent crimes.

“I saw this movement has been going on since January. When I caught wind of that, I tried to get as many signatures as I could for it,” said Racheal.

Keep Cal Safe is the measure Racheal has been working to gather enough signatures to place on the November ballot. It is a coalition trying to reform certain criminal laws in California.

According to Racheal, “there is a lot crime that is considered non-violent which should be re-classified as violent.” The measure aims to strengthen theft laws and keep violent offenders from receiving early release.

Racheal said she is aware the initiative is not without its critics.

Critics of tougher crime laws have long argued that increasing incarceration rates and lengthening sentenced does not reduce crime in the long-term.

“There are a lot of critics who are against this, but it’s because they have been a victim, yet. I think once you are a victim and you do suffer from the thefts and suffer from not feeling safe, I think you’ll understand why this initiative is so important,” said Racheal.

The measure needed 345,000 signatures to make it on the November ballot. As of Friday night, the signatures were still being counted. 

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