Crime & Justice

FBI crime stats show decline in violent crime nationally & in LA; some Southland cities see an increase

The crime scene after a police chase in downtown Los Angeles.
The crime scene after a police chase in downtown Los Angeles.
Erika Aguilar/KPCC

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Violent and other crimes in the City of Los Angeles decreased last year, the FBI determined in crime statistics released Monday.

The agency's  annual report “Crime in the United States” collects offense and arress data from law enforcement agencies that voluntarily participate in the federal crime-reporting program.

 In Los Angeles, reports of violent crime fell 6.7 percent last year. Reports of robbery and aggravated assault both declined. Except for murder and non-negligent manslaughter, overall crime rates fell in Los Angeles during 2011. There were four more murder or manslaughter cases reported in L.A. last year than in 2010.

Nationally, violent crime last year fell 3.8 percent for the fifth consecutive year.

RELATED: Juvenile crime drops to record low in CA

But some Southern California cities bucked the national downtrend trend in violent crime. For example, the City of Anaheim in Orange County experienced a 10 percent increase in reported violent crimes last year. People in Long Beach weathered an estimated five percent uptick in violent crime.

Robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, property crime, larceny-theft, and vehicle theft were all up in 2011 for Long Beach.  Murder and rape were down approximately 22 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

 The FBI’s annual crime statistics report is one way to measure crime trends. But fewer than half of all crimes are ever reported to law enforcement agencies. So another way of measuring crime is the Bureau of Justice Statistics’Crime Victimization Survey. It’s based on  interviews with crime victims, those who report what happened to them and those who do not.  The results of that survey released earlier this month tell a different story.

 The national Crime Victimization Survey indicates that violent crime rose by 17 percent in 2011. It’s the first time the survey saw a year-to-year comparison increase since 1993 but survey authors say the change in annual rates are holding steady.