RobertHelfendCrimeA few months after reporting a drop in crime levels, Los Angeles police are currently struggling to fight an increase in crime across the city. According to LAPD reports, violent crimes in Los Angeles have gone up by 27% in 2015. The uptick over last year’s figures marked the first such increase in close to a decade. These crimes include rise in the number of people shot, increased homicides, aggravated assaults, rape reports, and robberies.

Officials reported that LAPD recorded an increase of 31 percent of shootings amounting to additional 54 victims this year. Generally, the reports by LADPD indicates a 27 percent increase in property crime through 21st March, compared to the same period last year as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Crime levels in Los Angeles are reported to be running roughly the same as 2012 and that the increase in these crimes is spread out across a most of the neighborhoods. Rapes and assaults rose by 14.3%. Similarly, property crimes have increased by 12%through March 21st. Property crimes category includes motor vehicle theft, burglary, and larceny; with burglaries going up by 26%while motor vehicle thefts and theft from motor vehicles have gone up by 17% compared to 2014. Robberies are up by 19% while rapes have gone up by 7% compared to a similar time last year.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck confirmed that the department will rely on crime data to help predict the crime hotspots and deploy extra resources there. Homicides are one bright spot in the crime statistics, which are down slightly by 2 percent compared to 2014. However, Beck confirmed that shootings are up. Gang related assaults are up by 25 percent since the beginning of the year.

According to the Eastsider website, nine shootings have been reported in Highland Park and its neighborhood in the last six weeks. There has been a reported spark in shootings in Highland Park including one on 10th February that involved a 13-year-old girl who was struck by a stray bullet at a bus stop. This increase has been attributed to the heightened tensions between the Highland Park Gang and the Avenues. According to LAPD reports, the San Fernando Valley saw 11.3% increase in violent crime while gang crimes rose by 8% for the year ending December 2014.

These figures indicate that 2,360 more people have been victims of violence in Los Angeles last year compared to the previous year. The increase has been attributed to increased domestic violence reports, rise in violent crimes and increased number of street fights fueled by alcohol and more accurate cataloging of crime reports in Los Angeles. Most of these violent crimes fall under the California “Three Strikes” Law.

Police detected this trend this year and have been taking steps to combat this crime rates. LAPD has increased the number of officers in areas where a spike in violent crimes has been reported. LAPD is also expanding gang intervention programs in which they work together with young people to steer them away from criminal activities.

LAPD is using a $400.000 federal grant to deal with street violence in the four police divisions with the highest violent crime rates which are 77th Street, Newton, Southwest and Southeast. The grant is anticipated to be used in improving data analysis and reducing recidivism rates in the stated areas.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also vowed to work with the police on the strategies to make the city safer. City officials and LAPD are also seeking to expand the Domestic Abuse Response Teams to all the 21 divisions of LAPD.

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