LOS ANGELES – For more than a decade, the crime rate in Los Angeles has been gradually decreasing, until now.
According to a Times analysis, after just six months into the year 2015, the Los Angeles crime rate has already risen by 12% compared to 2014.
“This is bad news,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a news conference at LAPD headquarters. Increased crime rate in any city is dangerous to the community. Police Chief Charlie Beck noted that despite the overall crime rate increase, “crime over the last three months has ticked downward”. Hopefully that trend will continue for the rest of the year.
Every type of property and violent crime has increased in 2015 except for the homicide crime rate, which has decreased by about 8%. Violent crimes of jumping assaults and robberies have increased by 21% and the number of shooting victims has risen by almost 19%. Property crime has increased at a lesser rate, 10% – nearly half as low as the violent crime rate increase.
Violent crime rates were up around 30% for the year through April. As a response to the dramatic surge in crime rates, Garcetti said in April that there was going to be double the amount of officers patrolling high-crime neighborhoods. The tactic somewhat worked as the LA violent crime rate went from a nearly 30% increase for the first quarter of the year to only a 20.6% increase through the first half of the year.
The Times analysis found that just over half of the 21 geographic police divisions witnessed a violent crime increase of 20% or more. Only one division, West Valley, reported having a decreased rate in violent crimes.
With the implementation of Proposition 47, it is hard to figure out why the crime rate in LA has increased by a significant margin. Beck thinks that homelessness may have something to do with the increased rate, stating that “The city has seen an increase in folks who live on the street who are more likely to be involved in violent incidents.” He also noted that it is too early in the year to determine a cause for the increased crime rate.