As one of the largest cities in the United States, Los Angeles is prone to widespread crime of varying types. That’s why it should come as no surprise that city officials will celebrate any reduction in crime. Los Angeles’ Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Michel Moore announced that crime is down in every category and that homicides are at the second-lowest number since the 1960s.
Homicides in LA at Near-Record Low
The Los Angeles Police Department released its crime stats for 2018, according to reports. For the year, there were 259 homicides, an 8.2 percent drop from 282 homicides in 2017. In fact, the only time in the last 50 years that there were fewer homicides in LA was in 2014, when 251 homicides were committed. That number is also in stark contrast to the city’s 1992 peak during the crack-cocaine epidemic, when 1,092 homicides took place across Los Angeles.
In 2018 there were 1,008 shooting victims, 48 fewer than in 2017 and 900 fewer than in 2007. Mayor Garcetti also noted that rape crimes were down 12.4 percent in 2018, gang crimes decreased by 8 percent, and property crime was down by 2 percent.
According to the data, all crime was down 2.4 percent from 2017 and violent crime fell by 4.5 percent. Since 1992, violent crime is down 67 percent and property crime is down 60 percent.
LA’s Effort to Stop Crime
Mayor Garcetti and Police Chief Michel Moore attributed part of the decline in crime to an increase in law enforcement and strategy. In 2018, around 400 police officers were reassigned from desk jobs and special units to be put on street patrol, with another 200 reassignments to follow in the near future.
An increase in officer diversity, street patrols and gang intervention have all been core to LA’s plan to reduce crime. The Gang Reduction and Youth Development program and Community Safety Partnerships have also assisted in reducing homicides in neighborhoods prone to gang violence. Gang-related killings accounted for over half of homicides in Los Angeles in 2018, but that is a one-fifth drop from 2017.
The drop in crime is considered impressive based on Los Angeles’ rising population numbers, as other cities like New York and Chicago have seen a rise in crime.
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