Serious crime in Los Angeles dropped 8 percent during the first six months of this year, continuing nearly a decade-long trend, reports the Los Angeles Times. Violent crimes fell nearly 10 percent, including an 8 percent drop in homicides with 147 killings recorded since the start of the year, police said. Last year Los Angeles recorded 297 homicides, the fewest since 1966, city officials said, suggesting that the city is again on track to see fewer than 300 killings by the end of this year.
“That’s a number I never thought I would see as a Los Angeles police officer,” said Police Chief Charlie Beck. Nearly every type of offense, including robberies, rapes, burglaries and thefts, continued to decline, defying some predictions that crime would surge during the economic downturn. One category bucked the trend. Assaults on police officers by suspects using deadly weapons rose more than 50 percent to 104 incidents in the first half of this year.