Overall Crime Has Gone Up In L.A. For The Second Year In A Row
According to the LAPD, crime has increased in L.A. once again, making this the second year in a row we've received this disappointing news. Last year, we were told that crime in Los Angeles had increased by 12 percent. This was the first time crime had actually increased in L.A. in 12 years, as crime had been declining since 2003.
As of July 16 of this year, violent crime had increased by 15.9 percent, property crime by 3.8 percent and overall crime by 6.3 percent in comparison to the same time period in 2015, the L.A. Times reports.
When it comes to violent crimes, aggravated assault is up 19.2 percent and robberies are up 16.8 percent. Rape has decreased by 8.7 percent, and the number of murders was the same at 158. Areas with the biggest surges in violent crime included South L.A., 77th Street, Newton, Hollywood and the Hollenbeck divisions, as well as the West Valley, Foothill and Mission divisions in the San Fernando Valley.
Many of the violent crimes are robberies in which the robber is not armed, or what Beck called "lower-level aggravated assaults."
Last year, Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the surge could stem from an increase in both domestic violence and homelessness. To that end, Garcetti said there would be dedicated domestic violence response teams in all 21 police divisions, plus an extra 200 officers appointed to a back-up unit station located outside of LAPD Metropolitan Division. Other steps would include more training, including education on de-escalation and how to properly approach individuals suffering from mental illness.
Some suggested possible reasons for the surge this year include gang violence, increased homelessness and Prop. 47, which knocked select crimes down to misdemeanors. Prop. 47 passed in 2014. However, it's difficult to nail down a particular reason and the Times points out that criminologists advise against pointing to any one single factor.
The mayor and Chief Beck talked about this report at a conference morning. The pair stood against a screen that spelled out the hashtags for the new anti-violence campaign launched by Beck and rapper The Game yesterday via a 49-second PSA.