LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles saw spikes in select categories of crime in 2021, most notably a nearly 12% year-over-year climb in homicides, but the mayor and police chief said re-deployments of officers and a focus on getting guns off the streets preventing the numbers from soaring much higher.
Among the more notable statistics were the 11.8% increase in homicides, while violent crime increased 3.9% and property crimes rose by 4.2%. The number of people shot rose by 9%.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Michel Moore both acknowledged the increases, but the mayor noted that the pace of homicides was stemmed in the second half of the year.
``To put that in context, I remember the first half of this past year, when those numbers were well north of 25%,'' Garcetti said of the homicide rate.
He also said that Los Angeles remains among the safest of the nation's most populous cities in terms of the homicide rate.
Garcetti said that over the past year, ``8,650 illegal firearms were taken off our streets thanks to the men and women of this department and our partners in federal law enforcement.''
``We focused on ghost guns, including a federal task force that we 're a part of, doubling the number of ghost guns seized this last year, getting 2,000 of these firearms off the streets in a major win,'' he said.
Moore said the creation of a violent crime task force put more officers on the streets and on foot patrols, interacting with residents and community groups.
``Our focus this year has been to shift our resources on this violent crime, particularly shooting violence and robberies, particularly robberies in the second half of the year where we saw the increase in their representation in the number of robberies involving a firearm,'' Moore said.
``Our homicide arrests with those added resources increased 37% -- 429 homicide arrests last year,'' he said. ``That's a 47% increase from two years ago.''