In an announcement made Monday, January 12th, officials from the Los Angeles Police Department revealed some shocking news about crime rates in Los Angeles - violent crimes were on the rise in 2014. The spike in violent crimes comes after an 11 year streak during which violent crime rates steadily declined throughout the city.
Here's the breakdown of Los Angeles 2014 crime statistics, according to recently released data from the LAPD:
- Los Angeles saw a 14.3% increase in violent crimes compared to 2013 (18,684 violent crimes compared to 16,633).
- Aggravated assaults increased by 28.3%.
- Reports of rapes increased by almost 21% compared to 2013, which includes an increase in "acquaintance rapes," but were still down 16.4% compared to 2005.
- Violent crimes in the San Fernando Valley rose by 11.3% and gang crimes rose by 8%.
- Property crimes - including burglary and auto theft - dropped by 4.6% compared to 2013.
Although violent crime rates in Los Angeles have been at historical lows, the newly released data has sparked concerns from communities across the city. Police Chief Charlie Beck credited the spike in violent crimes largely to more street fights, domestic violence cases, and increased accuracy in how the LAPD tracks crime. Last year, the LAPD was found to have misclassified a number of serious crimes.
Violent crimes include offenses that can range from domestic violence, aggravated assault, and robbery to serious sex crimes and homicide. While all cases may be different, the law comes down hard on offenders accused of violent crimes, and defendants often face some of the most serious criminal penalties and terms of imprisonment. The new crime statistics will likely be followed by renewed efforts by the LAPD to take a tough stance on crime.