For first time in more than a decade, violent crime reports in Los Angeles rose during the first six months of the year, say police data reported by the Los Angeles Times. Police Chief Charlie Beck said the department was “very concerned” about the increase but also noted that overall crime, which includes property offenses such as burglaries, remains down.
Violent crime was up 2.9 percent, with 8,610 crimes reported in the first six months of the year, compared with 8,371 reported during the first six months of 2013. The increase was driven by a jump in aggravated assaults, which were up 12 percent compared with the same period last year. It marks the first mid-year increase since 2003, when then-Police Chief William Bratton ushered in data-driven policing. Until this year, department had reported 11 consecutive mid-year violent crime declines. Beck and Mayor Eric Garcetti said the increase could partially be due to reporting more simple assaults as aggravated assaults, which are counted in the city's violent crime rate.