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Violent crime in L.A. jumps for third straight year as police deal with gang, homeless issues

Violent crime increased in Los Angeles for the third straight year as police tried to stem a rash of homicides and gang-related shootings while dealing with a growing homeless population.

With more than 290 people killed in the city this year, homicides also rose for the third year in a row. Still, the city remains far safer than a decade ago, when 480 people were killed and there were 46% more robberies than this year.

According to statistics from the Los Angeles Police Department, robberies were up by 13%, aggravated assaults were up by 10% and rapes were down by 4% through Dec. 17, compared with the same period last year. Homicides were up by 5%.

Overall, violent crime was up by 10% over last year and 38% over two years ago.

Property crime also went up for the third consecutive year, with a 4% rise that was driven by double-digit increases in car-related thefts.

The upward trend of the last several years marks a reversal of a steady decline that began in the early 1990s, when crime was at all-time highs. In 1992, 1,094 people were killed in Los Angeles.

Similar trends were evident in the areas policed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where violent crime was up by 9% and property crime was up by 6% through Nov. 30 . It was the second year in a row that crime increased in sheriff’s department territory, which includes unincorporated parts of the county as well as cities such as Compton and Lancaster that contract for law enforcement services.

Read more at Los Angeles Times.

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