2015 saw a rise in violent crime in the Long Beach area. This comes as a bit of a surprise, as the area was seeing decreases through previous years. Crimes that are classified as “violent” include rape, murder, robbery, and aggravated assault. With 36 homicides, the murder rate in 2015 was the highest it had been since 2009. The city also saw a 22% increase in aggravated assault, a 32% increase in grand theft auto, and a staggering 69% spike in petty theft.
Despite the increases in the previously mentioned crimes, not all news from the 2015 crime report was bad. The city saw a decrease in other types of criminal activity, especially burglary. Both residential and commercial burglary went down by 10% and 12%, respectively. Also, arson decreased by about 8%. These decreases fall in line with the overall downswing in criminal activity that Long Beach has experienced since 2005.
The FBI is reminding the community how much safer the area is now than it was 30 years ago. Between the years of 1985 and 2005, the Long Beach area had an average of 70 murders annually, more than double the amount seen in 2015. Overall, crime rates as a whole are well below their historic averages. Last year’s increase may prove to be an unfortunate anomaly.
The police department urges the public to be proactive about reporting crimes, which is an essential part of preventing them. Residents have also cited an effort to keep the streets clean of trash and the walls clean of graffiti, as these factors historically promote criminal activity. Lastly, the city has also launched multiple groups dedicated to crime prevention through early community intervention. These groups include the Long Beach GRIP Program, Big Brothers and Sisters, My Brother’s Keeper, and My Sister’s Keeper.
Although Long Beach crime is decreasing as a whole, it is important for residents to do their part in keeping it down.
Thanks to Tony Webster on flickr for the image used in this post.