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Murder Rate In Los Angeles Drops To 1967 Levels

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Despite increased crime predictions due to economic hardship, the murder rate in Los Angeles has dropped to 1967 levels and the absence of a massive drug epidemic may be a key factor. For the first time in over forty years, LA is within reach of ending the year with fewer than 300 homicides, reports the LA Times.

As of Sunday afternoon, LAPD counted 291 homicides in 2010 -- a statistic that shows homicides dropping by approximately 75% from 1992 when 1,092 people were killed during the crack cocaine epidemic and in gang violence, and dropping one-third since 2007. By recent estimation, this translates into 7.5 killings per 100,000 people, according to the LA TImes, putting us in line with NYC and Phoenix as having some of the lowest homicide rates among major U.S. cities.

Experts say the change, though not easily explained, is likely the result of more effective crime-fighting methods, stricter sentencing, demographic variables, sociological influences and the absence of a major drug epidemic.