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Zip It! Are Gang Crime Rates Inflated Based on Location?

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Does the zip code influence how a crime is classified? City Councilman Tony Cardenas says yes, per the Daily News. He said recently: "If there is a dispute in Pacoima or Sylmar, they might call it gang-related. If the same things happens elsewhere in the city, it's just a dispute." This means gang crimes are inflated in certain areas, raising--or maintaining--the public's alarm about a given geographic region. Fellow Councilmember Greig Smith disagrees: "I can assure you, no [LAPD] watch commander wants to see an elevation in gang crimes if they can avoid it."