LA Crime Back on the Rise After 13-Year Decline

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For the past 13 years, the level of LA Crime rapidly declined in activity in most criminal categories.

The noticeable decrease includes property crimes such as burglary and auto theft. Surprisingly, it also includes a decline in violent crimes, including rape and homicide. However, 2015 has been a different story.

As we are only halfway through the year, the City of Angels reports a surprising increase in violent and non-violent crime. The blame is widespread. Some blame the homeless population, while others blame Prop 47, but the city’s leaders are now under pressure to account for the spike in LA crime.

A Legal Solution

After the city released the latest Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) numbers for the first half of 2015, both Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck have had to come forward with an explanation for the changing tide. Their explanations for the 12.7% increase in crime include gang violence, crime involving the increasing homeless population, and Proposition 47. Prop 47 is last year’s ballot initiative which reduced previous low-level offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, which released hundreds of prisoners convicted of minor drug and theft crimes.

Property crime has risen by more than 10 percent and violent crime jumped over 20%. Despite these numbers, Garcetti and Beck are trying to highlight some new initiatives that they say have shown some results in the past couple months. This includes crime hot spot targeting by the Metropolitan Division, and outreach efforts to gang members. The Gang Reduction and Youth Development program got an extra $5.5 million bump this year to address the increase in gang activity. Last year, gang-related shootings increased 33% in Los Angeles.

Crime is up across the city, not just in the Central Division, but also stretching out to West LA. LAPD’s Central Division, which includes Skid Row, and much of Chinatown and downtown LA, has seen serious assaults rise by more than 80% versus the first half of 2014. Beck has blamed much of this in the increasing homeless population, including homeless on homeless crime. Meanwhile, West LA has seen a jump in property crime, up more than 20% over last year.

On the plus side, homicides were down almost 8%. The West Valley was the only division showing a decrease in violent crime, and the only division with a decrease in property crime was the Mission division of the San Fernando Valley.

Tracking LA Crime

The Los Angeles Times’ “Crime L.A.” website shows maps and reports based on LA County crime reports. This includes mapping 87 LA City neighborhoods, comparing crime levels including property and violent crime statistics, even providing alerts of recent changes in reported crime rates. Their rankings for the past 6 months show the following neighborhoods as topping the per capita rates.

Violent Crimes:

  1. Chesterfield Square;
  2. Harvard Park;
  3. Vermont Vista;
  4. Vermont Knolls; and
  5. Manchester Square.

Property Crimes:

  1. Unincorporated Santa Susana Mountains;
  2. Leimert Park;
  3. Chesterfield Square;
  4. Rancho Dominguez; and
  5. Fairfax.

Unfortunately for other big cities in the United States, the recent increase in crime is not an Angeleno-only experience. Houston, New York City, Baltimore, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and New Orleans have also seen an up-tick in criminal activity over the past 6 months.

Hire Great Defense

Don’t enter into a courtroom battle without support. Call The Kavinoky Law Firm at 1.800.NO.CUFFS for the best defense team available. Call us 24/7 – we don’t sleep – so you can. We staff the best attorneys in California so we can defend your freedom.

John Devendorf
John Devendorf
John Devendorf is a California barred attorney and graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law. He writes on a range of legal topics including criminal law, immigration, and legal marketing. While he is not a member of The Kavinoky Law Firm, we share his legal insights on topics important to our clients.