A Notable Uptrend
There was a significant increase in incidents of violent crime, consumption of illicit drugs, and mortality caused by drug overdoses in Los Angeles in 2022. Consequently, board members have stated that this disturbing pattern requires immediate attention as an emergency.
It is crucial to remember that recorded crime statistics might not accurately reflect actual figures in cases where victims of crime fail to alert law enforcement officials or submit a thorough crime report. Anyone who has been the victim of criminal activity should contact law enforcement, report the incident, and get a “DR” identification code. It is unnecessary to physically visit a law enforcement facility to compile crime reports because they can be found online. The reports and other variables are used to determine the number of law enforcement officers assigned to the 21 community patrol and special divisions scattered throughout the Los Angeles region.
The crime trends that are currently in place are presented in the October 29th LAPD Citywide COMPSTAT report.
Along with other types of criminal activity, the rate of homicide is consistently rising.
In the previous year, 382 homicides were recorded in Los Angeles. The reported number of fatalities presents a conflicted message.
The current figure shows a decrease of 3.8% compared to the number of homicides documented in 2021. However, the statistic that firearms incidents have propelled remains the second-highest recorded yearly figure over the past 15 years. It has exceeded the number of 355 murders recorded in the year 2020.
The cause of the 2022 Los Angeles death count can be attributed to an exceedingly aggressive summer marked by intense violence. As per the LAPD’s publicly available records, July and August witnessed 44 instances of homicide each. There has been only one other instance since 2010 where a single month has recorded more than 40 homicides.
However, the concluding period of 2022 exhibited a moderate improvement. In November, there were a total of twenty-five homicides reported, which were then followed by an additional twenty-seven recorded incidents of killings in the subsequent month of December
Based on the statistics provided by Compstat, the number of occurrences of violent crimes in the year 2022 amounted to 30,853. There has been a rise of 1.1% from the preceding year.
In the previous year, the Los Angeles Police Department documented 2,780 incidents of robbery in which firearms were involved. This represents an increase of almost 400 compared to 2021 and reflects a surge in firearms-related crime that commenced at the beginning of the pandemic.
In 2022, firearms were involved in a notable percentage of 30.1% of all criminal incidents categorized as robbery. The LAPD’s publicly available data revealed that the year with the highest count of robberies in the past decade was 2017, which recorded 10,824 occurrences within the city. The total for the year 2022 exhibited a decrease of 14.7% compared to that year.
The overall quantity of burglaries experienced a significant uptick of 15.4% compared to the preceding year. Nonetheless, the burglary rates in Los Angeles are currently significantly lower compared to the levels they reached only a few years back. The total number of burglaries reported last year was 14,856, representing a decrease of 7% compared to the previous year and a reduction of 15% from the figures recorded in 2010.
Commencing from March 2020, when the city enforced stringent measures to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, the incidence of criminal activities began to decline substantially. There was a sudden surge in the number of reports indicating the theft of automobiles. The incidence of automobile theft escalated at an accelerated rate due to the proliferation of social media trends such as the “Kia challenge” from last summer, which was disseminated through various videos showcasing methods of appropriating a variety of vehicle types.
The conclusion of the previous year witnessed a total of 25,400 automobiles pilfered, a staggering figure surpassing the 2019 records by approximately 10,000 units. Cars manufactured by Honda and Kia during the 1990s are particularly susceptible to theft. Theft of full-sized Chevrolet and Ford pickup trucks is also prevalent.
The LA Police Department reports that a sizable portion of the vehicles stolen within the city limits are located and returned to their rightful owners or insurance within a brief span of time.
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Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Attorney who has over 21 years of practice defending a variety of cases.