For the first time in more than a decade, overall crime is up in Los Angeles through the first six months of the year, rising by about 12 percent, says an analysis by the Los Angeles Times. The increase has continued despite the city’s efforts to stem the crime surge, which followed consecutive declines since 2003. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck are expected to discuss the crime numbers today. Besides homicide, which was down about 8 percent, all other categories of violent and property crime have increased this year compared with the same period last year. Violent crime rose 21 percent, driven by jumps in aggravated assaults and robberies, marking the second such increase in a row.
The number of shooting victims also rose, by nearly 19 percent. Property crime has climbed 10 percent. The sharp uptick, particularly in violent crimes, has drawn significant attention from top city officials. Public safety was a keystone of Garcetti's State of the City address in April. He announced plans to double the number of officers who swarm high-crime neighborhoods in an attempt to deter crime. The decision raised eyebrows, as critics expressed concern that deploying an elite squad with a reputation for hard-charging tactics could undermine years of progress the department has made in building better relationships with communities.