Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton announced at a press conference today that the Los Angeles crime rate continues to drop to levels not seen since the 1950s.
"You’d have to look back to 1956 to find a comparable crime rate for Los Angeles," said Chief Bratton. "It’s a great credit to the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department."
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, Los Angeles had ranked in 2004 as the third safest city, behind San Diego and New York, among the 10 largest cities in the nation. By mid-year 2005, Los Angeles moved ahead of San Diego for the first time, into second place, registering 191 Part I crimes per 10,000 residents.
This last year, 2005, ended with a preliminary crime rate of 364 Part I crimes per 10,000 residents, a decrease of over 16 % from 2004. Total Part I crimes dropped 14 % from 2004. Violent crime dropped 26.8 % while property crime dropped 9.6 %.
All eight categories of Part I crimes showed a decrease: homicide decreased 6%, the lowest since 1999; rape decreased 16.3%; robbery dropped 4.1%; aggravated assaults dropped 40%; burglary decreased 5.6%; burglary from vehicle dropped 12.6%; personal and other theft decreased 11.7% and auto theft dropped 6.6%. As previously reported, part of the drop in aggravated assaults is due to the adjustment in reporting LAPD made at the beginning of 2005 to conform with the FBI’s Uniformed Crime Reporting guidelines. The Department had discovered it had over-reported aggravated assaults for years.
The drop in crime is significant compared to one of LA’s most violent years, 1992, when Part I crimes were over 300,000 annually, and homicides were over 1,000. In that year, Los Angeles ranked sixth among the 10 largest cities.
The crime reductions have come despite a near constant number of officers. Since 2000, the number of LAPD officers has hovered at 9,200. The number of officers approached 9,300 by the end of 2005.
Los Angeles polices its city with one officer for every 426 residents, about half the rate of New York City. For Los Angeles to have the same ratio of officers as New York City, LAPD would need nearly 17,000 officers.
The following chart shows the change in Part I crime categories in Los Angeles between 2004 and 2005, and compares them to nationwide changes for the same period:
Part I Crime
The following chart shows the rankings of the 10 largest US cities’ crime rates as of mid-year 2005, according to the Uniform Crime Report. The last column shows the officer-to-resident ratio for each city:
Las Vegas Metro