January 4, 2008

crime lower in LAPD areas than LASD areas

This is a rather interesting article. LA Police Dept. says their crime is down and its all due to their good police work. LASD admits crime is up in the LA Sheriff Dept. areas (many of which coincidentally adjoin LAPD areas) and claim that this increase is not do to lack of work by the LASD but rather "economic and environmental" factors. This is the same BS we have heard before. Crime goes down its all the police. Crime goes up its outside factors. What is so funny is that LASD and LAPD disagree. Maybe if LASD were as up to date on their crime maps and statistics as LAPD we would see more results from LASD. LASD can't even seem to find the time to put a decent website together, which is very embarrassing given it is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country. Lets face it. Baca has to go and we need a Sheriff appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Quite frankly LAPD has benefited from outside talent searches rather than promoting staid characters from within the department that have zero management skills.

If Baca is correct, that economic or environmental factors were all to blame for the crime increase, then we should lay off some deputies as having more is not helping.

Every year at the various dog and pony show "state of the city" events in LASD patrolled contract cities (Lakewood's is in January) we hear LASD tout how crime is going down as compared to last year. Each year they pick the figures that go down and fail to mention the areas that go up or how increases fluctuate over the years due to unknown factors. Quite frankly having more police drive down the street is not going to deter most serious crimes of passion (like murders of related people, family members etc. or rapes) Police may help deter a few crimes via their visibility, the very type that increased in the LASD areas! So the next time the LASD touts how their 22 million dollar new Lakewood station is going to make you safer, ask for some details and a warranty. Quite frankly the new LASD station will do lots for the Sheriff's union members (i.e. better break rooms and nicer offices for the big brass) but little for for the taxpayers.

As far as the crime stats below take note of the raw numbers. The large percentage decrease in the murder rate is tied to the fact that there is a small number of murders overall. Just the opposite for the increases. Small percentages due to large raw numbers. The arson increases are especially interesting considering the rise of fireworks in this area and the pyros that love them...

From the Los Angeles Times
Region sees rise in crime
Homicides are down, but the L.A. County Sheriff's Department reports a 4% uptick in serious offenses in 2007.
By Richard Winton
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

January 4, 2008

While homicides fell significantly, serious crime in the dozens of communities patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department rose 4% overall in 2007 -- prompting Sheriff Lee Baca to warn that a worsening economy could present a tough crime picture for 2008.

An increase in robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and other property crimes drove the crime uptick, according to statistics compiled by the department, which protects about 3 million people.

Baca said rising unemployment in some impoverished communities doesn't bode well for the year ahead.

"Our economy is driving the property crimes -- burglary and larceny," the sheriff said. "In some communities, with high unemployment, some people resort to theft."

Baca's concerns are borne out by Los Angeles County's unemployment rate, which stood at 5.3% in November, nearly 1% higher than the same month a year before. It was the largest year-to-year increase since 2002.

At the same time, however, serious crime dropped 4.9% on neighboring turf patrolled by the Los Angeles Police Department, which also recorded its fewest homicides -- 392 -- in 37 years. LAPD Chief William J. Bratton, in comments Wednesday, differed sharply with Baca in his analysis of crime.

"I will take them all on, the economists, the criminologists, all of these people who give you the baloney," Bratton said. "What makes the difference is cops focused on crime."

Malcolm Klein, professor emeritus of sociology at USC and a gang expert, said Bratton is mistaken in deriding socioeconomic factors but said it's overly simplistic to draw a direct connection between unemployment and the crime rate.

"The answers are more complex. It may be something going down nationally," Klein said.

"It's hard to believe the economy in the county areas is any different than in neighboring Los Angeles," said George Tita, a UC Irvine criminology professor. "The reality is we don't know what . . . makes crime numbers go up and down."
Baca also blamed narcotics for fueling the rise in thefts, burglaries and robberies in the more than 3,000 square miles his deputies patrol. "Drug users commit a couple of hundred crimes each a year," he said.

Baca said that his 17% reduction in homicides, coming on top of a 13% plunge in 2006, is a success story. Deputies investigated 273 slayings, down from 328 the previous year.

Compton was a bright spot, reporting a sharp drop in homicides since 2005.

That year, the city recorded 72 homicides, placing it among the nation's deadliest cities on a per capita basis. Last year, there were 38.

Baca credited aggressive gang enforcement and a close partnership with communities such as Compton for the turnaround in homicides.

"We can make a difference when it comes to gang murders, but it is much more difficult when it comes to other kinds of murders," Baca said. "In Compton the word is out that things have changed. Gang members are getting out of town."

Anti-gang deputies have concentrated on getting guns out of the hands of gang members. Last year, sheriff's officials and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives shut down a Compton gun store that had sold nearly 900 weapons that ended up being confiscated during criminal investigations.

Store employees had illegally helped criminals buy guns by encouraging them to use friends or family with clean records to pass background checks. Thousands of guns were seized during the raid.

The serious crime category includes homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assaults, burglary, car theft, larceny and arson.

Rapes declined 7%, but robberies rose 3% and aggravated assaults jumped 6%.

Burglaries climbed by 6% and larceny/thefts went up by 7%, while vehicle thefts declined by 5%.

Sheriff's officials said there was also a 12% jump in arson -- from 904 in 2006 to 1,015 last year. "That is almost three a day," said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore. "It's a growing concern. We're locking arsonists up more than ever."


Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | www.LAAG.us | Lakewood, CA
A California Non Profit Association | Demanding action and accountability from local government™

click here to receive LAAG posts by email

No comments: