Can the liberals not open their eyes and see that gun control doesn’t work? It only takes guns away from the good people, leaving criminals with the means to do what they want.
By Cindy Chang, Maya Lau
Violent crime increased in Los Angeles for the third straight year as police tried to stem a rash of homicides and gang-related shootings while dealing with a growing homeless population.
With more than 290 people killed in the city this year, homicides also rose for the third year in a row. Still, the city remains far safer than a decade ago, when 480 people were killed and there were 46% more robberies than this year.
According to statistics from the Los Angeles Police Department, robberies were up by 13%, aggravated assaults were up by 10% and rapes were down by 4% through Dec. 17, compared with the same period last year. Homicides were up by 5%.
Overall, violent crime was up by 10% over last year and 38% over two years ago.
Property crime also went up for the third consecutive year, with a 4% rise that was driven by double-digit increases in car-related thefts.
The upward trend of the last several years marks a reversal of a steady decline that began in the early 1990s, when crime was at all-time highs. In 1992, 1,094 people were killed in Los Angeles.
Similar trends were evident in the areas policed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where violent crime was up by 9% and property crime was up by 6% through Nov. 30 . It was the second year in a row that crime increased in sheriff’s department territory, which includes unincorporated parts of the county as well as cities such as Compton and Lancaster that contract for law enforcement services.
Elsewhere in the state, crime decreased in some Bay Area cities. San Francisco saw an increase in homicides and rapes, but robberies were down 13% and crime was down 10% overall through the end of November. Through Dec. 18, Oakland had two homicides, compared with nine in 2015 and seven in 2014. Overall, crime in Oakland was down 6%.
Early this year, in response to a spike in homicides and shootings, the LAPD sent extra platoons of elite Metropolitan Division officers to South Los Angeles and intensified its use of daily crime statistics to identify problem spots.
By the time the emergency operation ended on Oct. 1, the rate of violent crime had stabilized in South L.A. But with resources concentrated there, some other parts of the city experienced upticks in crime.
Recently, the situation in South L.A. worsened — October was the worst month of the year for homicides — and the Metropolitan Division has increased its presence there again, said Asst. Chief Michel Moore, who oversees the LAPD’s patrol operations.
South Bureau, which includes much of South L.A. as well as the San Pedro area, finished the year with a 6% increase in homicides, 6% more rapes, 10% more robberies and 19% more aggravated assaults.
Overall, violent crime in South Bureau was up 15% over last year and 34% over two years ago.
The efforts of police officers on the streets have had an effect, but the root causes of crime – joblessness, homelessness, substance abuse – are deep and require the community’s help to solve, Moore said.
“It is like fighting fires – spot fires,” he said. “We have a finite number of resources, and at the end of the day, the LAPD isn’t going to fix this.”
The number of shooting victims in Los Angeles – 1,152 as of Dec. 17 — was up 6% over last year and 23% over two years ago.