OAKLAND (KCBS)—Oakland residents in a neighborhood, not known for criminal activity, came together to for a workshop Wednesday night to discuss a recent surge is crime.

Dozens of concerned neighbors from Bella Vista neighborhood in the San Antonio District came to Bella Vista Elementary to hear from Oakland Police on how to stay safe. The holiday safety workshop was organized to address the spike in break-ins, robberies and car thefts.

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Many people said they have been victims of crime or know some one who was targeted.

“It’s getting more brazen” Lisa Awrey, a resident who helped organized the workshop, said. “It’s been in broad daylight and so it’s been a little unusual.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

The focus of the meeting was the importance of Neighborhood Watch and about getting to know other people in the community.

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Oakland Councilwomen Pat Kernighan said she was glad that neighbors were working together but that she hopes city leaders will eventually consider a new public safety tax and hire more police.

“It’s either going to be cutting other services so you can pay — we hope not to do that. We hope actually at some point to do another tax,” she said. “I know nobody wants to pay taxes, but for a relatively small amount of money from each person, we could actually hire a lot more officers.”

But any tax proposal, Kernighan said, is at least a year away.

In Oakland burglaries are up 43 percent with 11,000 homes, cars, and businesses broken into this year.

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