Los Angeles: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton today announced that homicides fell to a 37-year low, 392 total, with preliminary statistics for 2007 showing the City’s Part I crime rate dropped for a sixth straight year.
"Inside and outside of the LAPD tremendous progress has been made to secure every Los Angeles neighborhood," said Chief Bratton. “This city is a much safer place to live, work and visit which is direct result of established working partnerships with City, State, Federal and Community agencies. In particular I want to thank the men and women of the Department for their extraordinary efforts and accomplishments. These crime reduction figures didn’t just happen. They are a direct result of their commitment and dedication.”
"Thanks to the outstanding work of Chief Bratton and the brave men and women of the LAPD, Los Angeles is bucking the national trends,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “The historic lows in crime is great news for our economy, our families and everyone who lives, works and plays in Los Angeles."
My fellow Police Commissioners and I want to commend the men and women of the LAPD for this significant crime reduction effort," stated Police Commission President Anthony Pacheco. "This is a testament to the fine leadership of Chief of Police William J. Bratton and his leadership team. Los Angeles is a safer city due to these fine efforts".
In 2007, the per capita crime rate for Part I crime remained below the 1956 level. During that year the population of Los Angeles was 2.3 million. Per capita crime was 385 per 10,000 people. In 2007 the estimated population is 4.2 million with a per capita crime rate of 290 per 10,000, a significant decrease from 1956.
Within the Part I Crimes figures a trend emerged that homicides continue to dramatically decrease with the final number at 392. This homicide figure marks a noteworthy reduction from 1992 when Los Angeles recorded its highest number of homicides in a single year, 1,092. In 1992 alone, Operations-Central Bureau investigated 440 homicides, a year when the per capita homicide rate reached 3.09 per 10,000 residents, as compared to 0.93 per 10,000 residents recorded this year, a decrease of 2.16.
Preliminary analysis of the 2007 Homicide figures show that gang activity was the primary cause in 213 of the 392 homicides, or 54%. Males comprised 85% of homicide victims and 87% of homicide suspects. Fifty eight percent of homicide victims were in the age range of 18 thorough 35, with 56% of this same age range making up the suspect category.
All categories of Part I crime showed decreases in 2007. Homicides dropped 18%, the lowest since 1970; rape decreased 13.8%; robbery decreased 6.2%; aggravated assaults dropped 9.3%; burglary dipped 4.1%; car burglary dropped 0.2%; personal and other theft decreased 6.1. %; and auto theft dropped 8.3%.
Victims of shootings also declined in 2007, as they had the previous five years. In 2006, 476 persons were murdered and 2,210 were shot. In 2007, there were 392 homicides and 1895 shootings. A total of 315 fewer persons were shot last year, a decrease of 14%.
In 2007, the LAPD policed the city with a ratio of about one officer for every 445 residents, less than half the rate of New York City. With current staffing levels at 9,572 the bulk of the praise for the success of the crime declines must go to the men and women of the LAPD. Department crime fighting efforts included several strategies that focused on improving the quality of life in the City of Los Angeles. Some of these programs include, but are not limited to the following:
• COMPSTAT used by commanding officers to effectively address and reduce crime problems in their communities.
• Gang Initiatives were implemented at the beginning of the year to work to create innovative ideas to address the City gang issue.
• Crime Strategy/Best Practices Committee, a sharing of ideas, strategies, and methods.
• Safer Cities Initiatives, crime reduction taskforces assigned to five areas in the City to reduce crime and improve the quality of life.
• Jordan Downs Initiative advanced camera technology used to combat crime resulting in a 19% reduction of Part I crime within the housing complex, and 29% in the surrounding neighborhood.
“Special recognition and appreciation goes to our Neighborhood Councils, Community –Police Advisory Boards, and Neighborhood Watch for their trust and appreciation of the LAPD,” remarked Chief William Bratton. “The Department’s partnerships with the Mayor, City Council, Los Angeles City Attorney, Los Angeles County District Attorney, along with local, state and federal participation show that working together as a team we can make the City of Los Angeles the largest safe city in America.