Year begins with a drop in crime but trouble spots remain

The first three months of the year began with an overall decline in violent and property crime across the LAPD divisions that cover the Eastside of Los Angeles.  However, the first quarter figures for the Hollenbeck, Northeast, and Rampart division also show that crimes in some categories continued to increase. In fact, in the Hollenbeck Division, which includes Boyle Heights, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights,  seven people were murdered during through the end of March compared to the same time last year.

Still, the Hollenbeck  Division saw overall violent crime – which includes aggravated assaults, robbery  and rape – decline 14%.  Property crime also declined during the first quarter, falling 14%.  But burglaries were up 33%  to 110 reported crimes, and  the number of stolen cars also rose slightly to 259 vehicles.

In the Rampart Division, which includes Historic Filipinotown and the sections of Echo Park and Silver Lake below Sunset Boulevard, the number of homicides during the quarter rose to five from the three reported last year. However, total violent crime, including aggravated assaults, rape, robbery fell 10% to 261 incidents.

Meanwhile, Rampart property crimes showed a significant drop of 14%, with notable declines in stolen vehicles (down20%) and vehicle break-ins (down 20%).

In the Northeast Division, which includes Atwater, Eagle Rock, Echo Park, Highland Park and Silver Lake,  a steep 40%  decline in robberies and a 15% decline in aggravated assaults helped push overall reported violent crime down nearly 30% during the first quarter.  Two persons were murdered through March 30 compared to three homicides committed during the same time last year.

Overall property crimes fell 9%. But new Northeast Captain Jeffrey Bert warned residents of a recent surge in residential burglaries in Eagle Rock and Silver Lake.

When it comes to protecting your home against burglars, Bert, in a report recorded on video, said getting a dog instead of a gun or a burglar alarm might be your best defense.

“In 17 years in law enforcement,  my earnest recommendation, as a father of four living in Los Angeles, is get a dog. A dog that barks really loud.”

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  1. Villaraigosa doesn’t and probably won’t ever get credit for presiding over what is a miraculous drop in crime rates in Los Angeles. Although, I’m certain he would get all the blame if crime rates worsened during the same time period. Anyway, no one individual or strategy should get the credit for increased safety in L.A. not least of which is the aging population that has resulted in a surplus of classroom space contrary to the shrill predictions of overcrowding 10 short years ago. Bratton was the right choice for the right time and place and his strategy of making the entire LAPD (instead of individual stations) responsible for addressing crime in specific communities eliminated the sense of impunity that many criminals operated with. You can pretty much count on being caught these days, which wasn’t the case 15 years ago. This has resulted in another contributing factor to the decrease in violent crimes. Organized profit-making has replaced turf wars as the primary activity of many L.A. gangs and random homicidal violence is bad for business. This has resulted in increased gentrification of once entrenched “barrios”, which has decreased their criminal profile even more. Fortunately, I believe this is a long-term trend and the “normal” days of 1,000 homicides per year may be over in my lifetime. I’m crossing my fingers just in case.

  2. Getting a dog for a burgular deterrent? That advice is sloppy and only encourages more animal abuse. How about showing up on time for alarm reports instead of sitting in alleyways on Collis to rack up ticket revenue?

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