Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley sees surge in crime in 2021

Police+responded+to+a+domestic+incident+on+the+corner+of+Darby+Avenue+and+Dearborn+Street+in+Northridge%2C+Calif.%2C+on+Nov.+18%2C+2021.

Mercedes Cannon

Police responded to a domestic incident on the corner of Darby Avenue and Dearborn Street in Northridge, Calif., on Nov. 18, 2021.

Alexia Mersola, Assistant News Editor

2020 was the year COVID-19 took over. Restrictions were put in place, causing bustling city streets, compacted freeways and booming businesses to all come to an abrupt halt. While others were staying inside their homes, police struggled to handle the spike in crime.

The Devonshire Police Station has reported an uptick in shootings and killings in Northridge. In the last few weeks alone, there has been a double shooting at a strip mall parking lot and a shooting at a nearby pub. There was another shooting that killed a man, who has not been identified, in an apartment complex off of Corbin Avenue in the beginning of August.

According to the Devonshire Police Department’s monthly CompStat report, there were six shots fired and four shooting victims from Sept. 26 to Oct. 23. In comparison, there was only one shot fired and no shooting victims from August through September.

There has been a 500% increase in shootings within the Northridge area and surrounding areas including Chatsworth, Canoga Park, Granada Hills and Winnetka.

The rise in crime is not exclusive to this area. All areas under the Los Angeles Police Department jurisdiction saw a rapid increase in crime. Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore gave a crime briefing on Nov. 1 with Police Commissioner Dale Bonner in attendance, according to a Los Angeles Times article.

The police commissioner examined printouts of crime numbers and questioned whether the numbers reflected an increase in 2020 or if the figures needed an update. 2020 saw some of the highest figures it had seen in about a decade.

At the briefing, Moore made it clear to the commissioner that the current percentages for 2021 are even higher than 2020 figures.

“Homicides are up 17% and people will say, ‘Well, a lot of other cities are actually higher.’ But when you look over a two-year period, they’re up 49%,” Moore said.

The LAPD continues to hold crime briefings every Monday to identify crime trends. Efforts to reduce violence are already underway with the Municipal Housing Authority and the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development playing a key role in attempting to prevent gun violence.

Although there was a lot of speculation as to what has caused the increase in violence over the past couple years, the LAPD cannot pinpoint exactly what the cause of it all is.