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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Los Angeles

LAPD Statistics Show Decline in Homicides

January 09, 1998

Police statistics released Thursday show a 10% decrease in violent crime in the city in 1997, including the fewest homicides in the city in 20 years.

The drop in rapes, robberies, assaults and homicides last year continued a five-year decrease in serious crimes.

The most dramatic drop was in homicides. According to the LAPD's latest statistics, 590 people were slain last year compared with 738 homicides in 1996--the first time since 1977 there were fewer than 600 homicides in the city.

The plummeting homicide rate is particularly striking considering that the city's population has grown by about 700,000 in the same period. Additionally, all but one of the LAPD's 18 divisions saw a drop violent crime.

Although the reason for the dropping crime rate has not been pinpointed, many experts link the decrease to stricter sentencing laws, community policing, periodic gang truces, the stabilization of the lucrative drug trade, a robust economy and an overall decrease in the number of young adults in the age groups most likely to commit crime.

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