The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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LA city sees dramatic crime drop in last seven years

Violent crimes in Los Angeles have decreased 7 percent since last year and 35 percent compared to 2005, according to Los Angeles Police Department’s end of year crime report.

The report, which also compared the number of officers to the total crime rate, found about 700 more officers in 2005, since then, the total crime rate went down by 27 percent.

“Some of the new technology – specialized units targeting crime and partnerships formed within the community and more community input, in addition to the fact that we have nearly 10,000 officers – chip away at the crime,” said Karen Rayner, public information officer for the LAPD.

The report comprised the number of arrests made by the LAPD last year and showed an overall decrease in gang related crimes.

Gang related crimes went down by 15.2 percent, excluding homicide which went up by 6 percent, according to the report.

One of the most notable statistics was rape, which went down by 20 percent and 34 percent compared to 2005, according to the LAPD report. However, the LAPD did not differentiate between rapes committed by strangers or acquaintances.

“If there is a decline it may be a decline in stranger rape, and a possible increase in acquaintance rapes,” said Dr. Vickie J. Jensen, CSUN sociology professor.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) supports the LAPD’s findings that crime has been consistently decreasing in the past decade. The survey looks at all nonfatal crimes from a representative sample of U.S. households, aged 12 or older, and factors in population changes.

“The rate of the violent crime victimization rate has been steadily declining since 1993, and recently, the rate of total violent crime victimization’s declined by 13 percent in 2010,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Truman, statistician for the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Serious violent crimes declined by nearly 34 percent between 2001 and 2010, the NCVS reports. Rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault fall under the category of serious violent crimes in this survey.

The only two crimes in the NCVS that went up from 2009 to 2010 were rape by 50 percent and personal theft by 4 percent.

“The NCVS does measure rape/sexual assault not reported to police, and shows that about 50 percent of rape/sexual assaults are not reported to police,” Truman said.

Of the female victims of sexual assault and/or rape in 2010, 73 percent were victimized by non-strangers, according to the NCVS.

“Nobody reports things anymore. Sometimes a decline in reports has nothing to do with what is going on, but is related to the public’s confidence in the police,” Jensen said.

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