How safe is Silver Lake?

That’s a question LAPD Senior Lead Officer Al Polehonki gets asked a lot by newcomers interested in buying a home or renting an apartment. For the most part, Silver Lake is pretty safe – as far as violent crime is concerned. There were no homicides and only one rape last year in the area – which stretches from the Franklin Hills on the west to Glendale Boulevard on the east – that Polehonki covers. But when it comes to property crime – such as car break-ins and burglaries – Silver Lake is far from immune. In 2009, there were 732 reports of property crime in Silver Lake. Polehonki’s boss, Northeast Division Capt. Bill Murphy, said in a recent email newsletter that Silver Lake “was the only neighborhood to experience an increase in crime (very slight – 5 crimes)” in his division last year. Car break-ins alone shot up 39%. One of the challenges in reducing property crime, Polehonki said, is that many Silver Lake residents have come to accept it. “It should be an issue,” Polehonki said after a community safety meeting Monday night. But “it’s hard to to get people excited about it.”

This year, the Northeast Division and Council District 4, which includes portions of Silver Lake, will work on reviving and creating new Neighborhood Watch groups to spot trouble. The goal is to get a better idea of why crime is occurring in certain locations and certain times, Polehonki said.

“It should not be acceptable,” Polehonki said of property crime. “We should be able to figure out how to solve a lot of it.”

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