Crime is on the increase in Los Angeles. Violent crime was up 20.2 percent and and all crime was up 12.6 percent when 2015 is compared with 2014, according to Los Angeles Police Department data.

Why is anyone's guess.

Some have blamed prison realignment that sent offenders to local lockups with shorter stays. Others say the voter-approved Proposition 47, which reduces some drug violations to misdemeanors, is the culprit. But that wouldn't explain certain crime increases in other big cities — New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland — where such measures did not apply.

Then there's the theory that police are hesitating to enforce the law in the face of increased scrutiny and criticism (see Black Lives Matter), though some researchers have debunked the idea.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said gang crime has been particularly acute.

“The solution is communities that work together, communities that stand together, communities that work to save their children,” Beck told reporters last month. “We'll continue to do that — we'll continue to push forward.”

You might not be able to figure this out, but the one thing you can do at this point is remain vigilant and pay attention to the world around you. Here are the five LAPD areas with the highest crime increases, according to department data:

5. West Valley. LAPD's West Valley Division includes all or part of Encino, Tarzana, Lake Balboa, Northridge and Reseda. It experienced an 18.4 percent increase in violent crime when comparing late January with the same time in 2015. Robbery was up 27.8 percent.

4. Newton. This is the notorious “Shootin' Newton” division south of downtown that includes Skid Row, the Fashion District, Pueblo Del Rio and South Park. It saw a 23.3 percent increase in crime January to January. Aggravated assault in the division was up a whopping 208.3 percent between 2014 and now.

3. Northeast. This division covers Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Los Feliz, Mount Washington, Silver Lake and more. It has seen a 23.8 percent increase in violent crime. In the January-to-January time frame, robbery has gone up an astounding 76.9 percent.

2. Hollenbeck. The true Eastside — Boyle Heights, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills, University Hills and more — has experienced a 33.3 percent increase in violent crime as of January. Robbery was up 50 percent during that time.

1. Mission. The area that includes Arleta, Panorama City, Sylmar, North Hills and Mission Hills has been subjected to a whopping 60 percent increase in violent crime when late January is compared with the same time last year. Aggravated assault was up 121.7 percent during that time.

Be safe.

LA Weekly