Police: Crime in Los Angeles Skyrocketed in 2015

"...police struggled to get control of the problem..."

The Los Angeles Police Department reports that crime in Los Angeles has risen across all categories in 2015.

Violent crime in L.A. climbed 19.9% and property crime increased 10.3% through Dec. 26 compared with the same period last year, according to the police data. It marked the second year in a row that violent crime rose, but the first time since 2003 that both violent and property crime rose.

“We ask people to keep this in perspective,” said Assistant Chief Michel Moore, who oversees the Los Angeles Police Department's crime-tracking unit. “The city is not on fire, the city is not falling into the ocean.”

Still, the increases have sparked concern in neighborhoods across the city, including Southside areas that have seen jumps in gang-related homicides as well as more affluent areas where residents have complained about thefts and car break-ins.

Violent crime in parts of South Los Angeles was also on the rise.

“There is the knee-jerk reaction of sending in the cavalry to occupy the streets, and I think they resisted that instinct,” City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said. “I think their integration in the community makes it much easier for the community to work with the police rather than be concerned about what the police might do.”

Police reported 280 homicides, up 10.2% from last year, and 1,097 shooting victims, a 12.6% increase.

Rapes were up 8.6% and robberies rose 12.3%, while the biggest change came in the category of aggravated assault, which climbed 27.5%.

 Mayor Eric Garcetti has allocated more than $5.5M on the city's Gang Reduction & Youth Development program. But a spokesman for the city says that Los Angeles remains safer than anytime since the 1950s.