As a sprawling coastal community with over 3.8 million residents, Los Angeles is the largest city in California and the second largest city in the nation. Los Angeles is an interesting large metropolitan city, as there are many extremely high income neighborhoods that are very safe and have a very low crime rate, while there are also numerous lower income neighborhoods that have a high crime rate. The overall crime rates for Los Angeles are:
In 2014 there were 251 homicides reported in Los Angeles. The same number of murders were recorded in 2013.
Rapes and Sexual Assaulted
1,136 rapes were recorded in Los Angeles in 2014. There is not data available for the previous year that includes the FBI’s revised guidelines for what constitutes a rape or sexual assault.
8,059 robberies occurred in Los Angeles in 2014. This is an increase compared to the 7,885 robberies that occurred the previous year.
Statistics show that 7,792 aggravated assaults happened in Los Angeles in 2014. This statistic is slightly higher than the 7,624 assaults that were reported in 2013.
16,049 burglaries were reported in Los Angeles in 2014. This is a slight increase compared to the 15,728 burglaries that were recorded the previous year.
There were 57,739 incidences of theft recorded in 2014 in Los Angeles. The most current figures represent an increase over 2013 when 55,734 thefts occurred.
Motor Vehicle Theft
Motor vehicle thefts accounted for 14,693 property crimes in Los Angeles in 2014. This figure is very close to the 14,382 motor vehicle thefts that happened in 2013.
Violent Crimes Per Capita
In Los Angeles the per capita violent crime rate is 444 per 100,000 residents. This is slightly higher than the national average, which is 365.5 per 100,000 residents. A resident of Los Angeles has a 1 in 225 chance of being a victim of a violent crime; residents living elsewhere in California have a 1 in 249 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. The violent crimes per capita in Los Angeles is significantly lower than the top 10 cities with the highest violent crime rates.
Property Crimes Per Capita
The per capita property crime rate in Los Angeles is 2,279 per 100,000 residents; this figure is actually lower than the national average, which is 2,730 incidences per 100,000 residents. In Los Angeles a resident has a 1 in 44 chance of being the victim of a property crime, while residents of California as a whole have a 1 in 38 chance of being a victim of a property crime.
Crime Focus for the Future
For a city of its size, Los Angeles has lower crime rates than many other large metropolitan areas. One ongoing concern is the prevalence of gang violence in L.A.’s inner-city neighborhoods. Los Angeles is home to numerous powerful street gangs, and violence is prone to erupt when rival gangs fight over turf and drug sales. Most gangs in Los Angeles have relationships with Mexican drug cartels, which can further increase violence as gangs fight each other for access to resources in the lucrative drug trade.
The city has employed the use of gang task forces, and there is also an effort being made in the community to connect with the inner-city youths to help empower then and motivate them to focus on education instead of turning towards gang life.
Educational improvements also need to be made, as many inner-city schools are severely underfunded and many students are not receiving a quality education. As many studies have shown, a lack of education and failure to receive a high school diploma can increase a person’s risk of turning to a life of crime and joining a violent street gang.
The gang issue in Los Angeles is deeply rooted, and it will not be easy to solve. It involves economic, social, and educational factors that have been a problem for decades; for many young people living in poverty, gangs present a lifestyle of inclusion and money that can be very hard to resist. Unfortunately, most gangs do not allow its members to quit or drop out, so the focus is on keeping people from joining gangs in the first place.