Increases in Violent Crime in Los Angeles

Washington Post

Homicides and rapes each jumped by 9 percent in the nation’s second-largest city last year compared with 2014, while robberies went up by 13 percent, according to statistics released by the Los Angeles Police Department. Violent crime overall increased by 20 percent, and car theft went up by 17 percent.

The increase in Los Angeles crime comes as police departments across the country, including in New York and Chicago, are scrambling to confront rising bloodshed after years of plummeting crime numbers. Police officials and experts say the increases could reflect deepening distrust of police that leads people to settle disputes themselves, officers who are afraid of being second-guessed and court rulings that make it easier than ever to own a gun. Tighter budgets that result in cuts to law-enforcement agencies could also play a role, they say.

A number of factors are driving this year’s overall uptick, including a spike in gang violence over the summer that the department said could possibly be attributed to a number of gang members being released from prison. Of the 283 murders in 2015, Beck said 165 are considered gang-related. That’s 58 percent.

Overall gang crime jumped by 15 percent in 2015, the first increase in gang crime in Los Angeles in eight years, Beck said. “Gang crime is truly what steals the youth of Los Angeles,” Beck said.

Yes gang violence massively skews the overall per capita numbers of violent crime. If your lifestyle, or family/friends etc, have no interaction with violent gangs your odds of becoming a victim of violent crime are lower than what the average overall numbers indicate.

While it can be easy to highlight the Fergusan effect as the cause of the current short term rises in violent crime rates in many cities in the US we should stop to think about other potential causes too.

Much like the dramatic lowering/reversal of violent crime rates in the US in the 90's it is likely there is more than just one driver of changes.