Violent Crime Drops in Some Major California Cities
New figures show a decrease in violent crime in 2018 in the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Oakland.
L.A.’s violent crime rate had been on the upswing as of 2014, following decades of decline. That’s finally changing, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Violent crime decreased by nearly 4%, though it was still 1% higher than two years ago, according to preliminary statistics through Dec. 8.
Overall, crime was down in all categories in 2018, except personal theft, which rose 3%. Property crime decreased by 2%, after increasing each year since 2015.
L.A.’s Chief of Police Michel Moore credited new strategies aimed at combatting rape, robbery, assault, and homicide, including new data analysis and an expansion of the LAPD’s Metropolitan Division. Parts of L.A. County that are patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department, with the exception of Compton, saw a similar a decrease.
San Diego too saw its violence crime rate fall last year. It had the lowest murder rate among the 30 largest U.S. cities in 2018.
San Francisco experienced a 25% drop in homicides, a 2% drop in violent crime, and an 8% drop in property crime. Total crime was down 11% in Oakland, with a dip in homicides as well.
The latest figures will factor heavily in the ongoing debate on California’s recent criminal justice reform laws, such as AB 109, Prop. 47, and Prop. 57. Critics contend these laws are leading to inappropriate early release, incentivizing theft, stifling DNA collection, and resulting in an overall increase in crime. Their concerns have prompted a 2020 ballot initiative that aims to fix loopholes in Prop. 47 by reclassifying some crimes as violent, expanding parolee oversight and DNA collection, and cracking down on serial theft.