LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Property and violent crime in the city of Los Angeles were down for the 10th consecutive year in 2012, the city’s mayor and police chief said Monday.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck attributed the drop to aggressive hiring practices in the face of mounting budget deficits.

The city saw a 1.4 percent drop in crime from 2011, with 298 murders citywide – the third consecutive year that the number of homicides in the city remained below 300 – down from 1,096 murders a year two decades ago.

“Violent crime, the thing that people worry about most, the thing that most affects all of us, down 8.2 percent this year as compared to last,” Villaraigosa said.

The mayor added that in addition to the efforts of the LAPD, the key is a refusal to back off on hiring and increasing the size of the police force.

Chief Beck also credited a near 50 percent drop in gang crime over the last 8 years and a record-low 152 gang homicides in 2012 to continued political support from Villarigosa, adding he hopes that same level of support will continue after Villaraigosa leaves office on July 1.

“It wasn’t very long ago that we were the homicide capital of the nation and the undisputed, undisputed source of gang
misery worldwide,” Beck said. “Because of this mayor, we’ve changed that. Now we’re the source of the solution.”

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