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Violent Crime Rates For Parts Of The Southland Continued To Climb In 2016

(Photo by vonspecter via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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There were many (re: many, many) reasons to be thankful 2016 is over. In San Bernardino, the city saw its most deadly year in over two decades.

According to the Los Angeles Times, San Bernardino had 62 killings for the year -- the most violent since 1995, and up 41 percent over 2015.

But the spike is not specific to San Bernardino alone. Los Angeles experienced a second-straight year of rising violent crime rates.

KPCC reports that 294 people were killed in the city during 2016 -- 11 more than in 2015. Robberies rose 14 percent over 2015, and 29 percent over 2014. Aggrevated assaults were up nearly 50 percent from 2014 to 2016.

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“Anecdotally, I can tell you we have experienced a higher number of meth related, narcotics related homicides as well as domestic violence related homicides,” LAPD Commander Kris Pritcher said of the San Fernando Valley. The observation ties in with the nationwide spike in narcotics abuse and related overdoses.

But even with rising rates, murders and violent crime have seen sharp decreases since the early 1990s -- when L.A.'s gang problem mixed with the crack epidemic reaching a fever pitch of 1,063 homicides in 1992.

And 2016 had a lower murder rate than 2011 or 2012, which saw 297 and 299 homicides, respectively, notes the L.A. Times.

Asked why crime is on the rise in Los Angeles, U.C. Berkeley criminologist Frank Zimring told KPCC:

"I know it's a fair question. And the answer is we don't know."