Violent crime increased in Los Angeles for the third straight year as police tried to stem a rash of homicides and gang-related shootings while dealing with a growing homeless population, the Los Angeles Times reports. With more than 290 people killed in the city last year, homicides rose for the third year in a row. The city remains far safer than a decade ago, when 480 people were killed and there were 46 percent more robberies than last year. The police department said robberies were up 13 percent, aggravated assaults were up 10 percent and rapes were down by 4 percent through Dec. 17, compared with the same period in 2015. Homicides were up by 5 percent. Overall, violent crime was up by 10 percent in 2016 and 38 percent over two years ago.
Property crime also went up for the third consecutive year, with a 4 percent rise that was driven by double-digit increases in car-related thefts. The upward trend of the last several years marks a reversal of a steady decline that began in the early 1990s, when crime was at all-time highs. In 1992, 1,094 people were killed in Los Angeles. Elsewhere in the state, crime decreased in some Bay Area cities. San Francisco saw an increase in homicides and rapes, but robberies were down 13 percent and crime was down 10 percent overall through the end of November. Last year, in response to a spike in homicides and shootings, Los Angeles sent extra platoons of elite officers to South Los Angeles and intensified its use of daily crime statistics to identify problem spots. By the time the emergency operation ended Oct. 1, violent crime had stabilized in South L.A. With resources concentrated there, some other parts of the city experienced upticks in crime.