San Francisco ‘Street Inspectors’ Beg For More Police Involvement To Fight Crime

Screenshot/YouTube/Public - User: ABC7 News Bay Area

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Lillian Tweten Contributor
Font Size:

Street inspectors for the San Francisco Department of Public Works (DPW) demanded more police involvement to enforce the law on illegal street vendors throughout the city at a public safety meeting on Tuesday, the San Francisco Standard reported.

San Francisco outlawed street vending in October in an attempt to curb sales of stolen items but left unarmed DPW street inspectors to enforce restrictions on the vendors, according to the Standard. Inspectors said they often face violence and verbal abuse when they try to enforce the law because many of the illegal vendors are using street vending to raise money for drug use. (RELATED: Dem Governor Creates Task Force To Tackle San Francisco’s Drug Problem — Again)

“It’s organized retail theft, and they’re fencing these items to support their drug habits,” a DPW employee, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Standard. “Police are the people that need to handle this, not street inspectors who were hired and trained to check on permits and the safety of sidewalks and ensure that the public right of way is maintained.”

San Francisco vendors are not allowed to sell items on the street unless they have a permit to do so, according to the city’s code. DPW street inspectors are supposed to enforce the law by ordering the vendor to stop selling their goods and confiscating the goods if the vendor refuses to comply, an order from the department detailed.

One street inspector said that he had often faced violence and gotten into “tug-of-wars” with illegal street vendors when he tried to enforce the law, according to the Standard. Another street inspector shared that the job had caused her mental health to deteriorate, and said that she had begun to experience panic attacks because of the conditions she must face on a daily basis.

Residents throughout San Francisco have begged for more police involvement as crime has begun to consume the city. Nearly 50% of crimes go unreported in the city, a statistic one poll attributed to the fact that the San Francisco Police Department is understaffed.

Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed increased the city’s police budget by $25 million and allowed police to chase after criminals in some cases, a sharp turn-around from her previous attempts to introduce criminal justice reform.

Breed, the SFPD and the DPW did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact