LAPD Disputes Report of Violent Crime in L.A. School Zones
UPDATE, April 18, 6:15 p.m.: The Los Angeles Police Department has provided data that show there is a much lower rate of violent crime in the vicinity of Hollywood High School than SafeHome.org's analysis claimed, and SafeHome.org was unable to explain the discrepancy. As a result, this story has been edited throughout to reflect the LAPD statistics, and a graphic provided by SafeHome.org that contained numbers from its report has been removed.
Hollywood High School is on a list of local campuses with the most violent crimes in their vicinity in 2016, but the accuracy of the report — by home-security shopping site SafeHome.org — has been challenged by the Los Angeles Police Department.
The "Most Dangerous School Zones" report looked at crime data in L.A., New York, Boston, Seattle and Baton Rouge, Louisiana — specifically at incidents in drug-free zones (usually a 1,000-foot radius) around city schools and colleges. The analysis claimed that Hollywood High School saw more than "1,000 records of violence within a 1,000-foot radius of campus."
But the LAPD disputes those figures, according to a spokeswoman. The LAPD reports a total of 146 violent crimes — homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — within that dense, tourist-laden radius. That number represents a 2.7 percent decrease compared to 2015.
Also on the list was Augustus F. Hawkins High School in South L.A., John C. Fremont High School in South L.A., Virgil Middle School in Koreatown and Edwin Markham Middle School in South L.A.
L.A. Unified School District officials did not respond to our inquiries, but its police chief, whom we also contacted multiple times, issued a statement questioning the data and reaffirming his vow to keep school kids safe:
“L.A. Unified and the LASPD [Los Angeles School Police Department] has a 100 percent commitment to provide safe campuses and safe school zones for all students, staff and the school community as a whole. We work together with law enforcement partners and community-based, faith-based and neighborhood-based organizations to form collaborative partnerships in ensuring that reducing crime and the fear of crime within our school communities remains a top priority. Our schools have — and always will be — the safest and most inviting environment for our students, staff and community.”
Violent crime is down 8 percent in the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division area so far this year compared with the same time last year, according to the LAPD's latest statistics. But compared with 2015, it's up 13 percent.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.