Over the past several years’ crime rates in the Los Angeles, Southern California area have been reported as declining. Yet recently it has been reported by various sources that after several years of decline in crime in the Los Angeles area, the crime rates are once again on the rise.
In the past several months the Los Angeles Police Department has publically addressed this issue in the news media. The Department has recently spoken up and reported on an increase in crime for the beginning of 2015 of approximately 12.7%.
However other sources report that the increase in violent crime is up as much as 20%. The Department has addressed what they believe to be the various causes of this recent uptick in crime. According to the Los Angeles Police Department some of the factors contributing to this current increase appear to be attributable to possible misclassification of crimes committed, an increase in the gang population and the violence connected thereto, a forever widening economic gap, increased homelessness, and declining social services. These combined factors create a hot bed for an increase in criminal activity.
In addition to the social and economic factors stated above, the Los Angeles Police Department is also siting Proposition 47 as a contributing factor to the increase in crime rates. Proposition 47 was recently on the ballot in California. The voters approved Proposition 47, setting into motion a change in the classification of crimes.
Proposition 47 is also known as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. The proposition recategorized some of the non-violent crimes as misdemeanors, rather than felonies.
However the police department claims that none of the intervention programs promised by the proposition, to support the change in crime categorization, have been implemented. Therefor the community is lacking in the support that is needed to combat the recent recategorization.
In an effort to rise to the challenge the Los Angeles Police Department is putting officers through new training procedures. As a result of the increasing crime trend officers have been required to participate in additional training to prepare them to handle situations that escalate or involve the mentally ill. In addition, the officers are being increasingly trained in using “predictive policing”, a tool that enables them to use their current skills with greater efficiency, including being problem oriented, using greater community policing strategies, stronger intelligence information and being increasingly aware and alert for “hot spots.” It is hoped that using all of these combined efforts of increasing the predictive capabilities of the officers and elevating their on street skills, will contribute to stemming the increase in crime and eventually reducing the uptick in criminal percentages.