Last week we told you about the Los Angeles areas with the biggest increases in violent crime.
The communities represent a citywide spike in lawlessness for 2015, when violent crime saw a 20.2 percent increase, according to Los Angeles Police Department data.
That's still based on record low rates of crime in recent years, city officials say. In other words, these are bumps in a low, low valley.
But the increases have had experts scratching their heads. Those seeking to politicize the data have blamed Proposition 47, which downshifts some drug violations to misdemeanors, and state prison realignment, which sent some offenders to local jails that had shorter stays.
Those policies, however, wouldn't explain why similar crime increases have occurred in big cities that happen to be outside California. In fact, crime tends to ebb and flow nationally.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says that gang crime has fueled at least some of the increases. “The solution is communities that work together, communities that stand together, communities that work to save their children,” he said earlier this year.
The department has 21 geographic divisions serving the city. Here are the ones with the greatest crime decreases compared with one year ago, based on late January figures:
5. West Los Angeles. Often the city's lowest-crime division, West L.A. doesn't disappoint. It saw a 10.3 decrease in violent crime compared with late January 2015. Rape was down 40 percent.
4. Devonshire. LAPD's Devonshire Division is home to all or parts of Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Northridge, North Hills, Porter Ranch, West Hills and Winnetka. Violent crime is down a healthy 11.1 percent.
3. Olympic. This is Koreatown's division, but it also covers all or part of Harvard Heights, Angelus Vista, Wilshire Park, Windsor Square, Arlington Heights and more. Violent crime is down 19.1 percent. Aggravated assault is down 40.5 percent.
2. Pacific. With the inclusion here of the Pacific Division (Venice, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Westchester, Palms), the core Westside areas are helping to represent the city's biggest crime decreases. Pacific has seen a 26.8 percent decrease in violent offenses. Aggravated assault is down 38.7 percent.
1. North Hollywood. The North Hollywood Division's area is fairly self-explanatory, though it also covers all or part of the Cahuenga Pass, Studio City, Sun Valley, Toluca Lake, Universal City, Valley Glen, Valley Village and more. NoHo has seen a 28.8 percent drop in violent crime. Rape is down 66.7 percent compared with late January 2015.
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