Across 2010 to 2016, crime in Los Angeles county, including both violent and property crime, increased by 5% even as the rest of the state experienced a downturn in crime, according to a recent report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. They explored city crime trends throughout California during a period that is often referred to as an era for justice reform.
During this period, court mandates, voter-approved initiatives and legislation encouraged major change in the California justice system. One such example is Proposition 47, one that downgraded numerous theft and drug crimes to misdemeanors and allowed defendants to renegotiate punishments, in addition to Proposition 57, which had a primary purpose of focusing on rehabilitation while shrinking the state’s prison population.
Advocates of law enforcement and reform have used anecdotes and statewide policies to argue whether or not crime has truly decreased or increased, according to the author of this study. The report, however, shows tremendous disparities in local crime trends. In Los Angeles County, for example, there was a 4% increase in property crimes, an 8% increase in violent crimes and an overall increase of 5%. The sharp increase in assaults in the city of Los Angeles of 60% is tied to some of the issues associated with the surge in particular criminal activity.
When the police believe that crime in a particular area is very high, they may take more action to investigate allegations of crime. In general, their pursuit of anyone who could be a suspect is more zealous. In some situations, this may even be a violation of the accused person’s constitutional rights. Regardless of whether or not the police have been charged with taking crime more seriously because of the perception of a big problem, anyone who is accused of a crime must have his or her rights protected. If evidence is obtained illegally or too much force was used during an arrest, this can call the entire crime into question. Many criminal defense attorneys build their case on these kinds of police mistakes.
If you or someone you know has already been accused of a crime, you need to schedule a consultation with an experienced defense lawyer.