LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Violent crimes in the downtown Los Angeles area jumped about 25 percent last year compared with 2013, officials said Monday.
The jump was among several findings revealed ahead of a news conference where Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck announced official crime statistics for 2014.READ MORE: Irvine Man, 67, Killed In Solo-Vehicle Crash In Tustin
KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports according to statistics released by the LAPD’s Central Division, the overall number of serious offenses in downtown was up about 10 percent, while alcohol-related crimes were also on the rise.
In other categories, there were 260 murders recorded in LA in 2014, nine more than in 2013, authorities said. Sexual assault cases were also up 20 percent, while property crimes overall were down in all categories.READ MORE: LA To Offer Appointment-Free COVID-19 Vaccines At City-Run Sites
Despite the surge, officials say the downtown area is as safe as ever and attributed the surge to an internal change in the way crimes are classified.
In response to the findings, the LAPD is expected to beef up foot patrol numbers along Skid Row, the Historic Core, and other sections of downtown.
Chief Charlie Beck says stationing of Domestic Abuse Response teams at all LAPD Stations combined with a $400,000 federal grant to allow for development of Smart Policing protocols may help to reduce violence.MORE NEWS: Flower Shortage Drives Up Costs This Mother's Day
“Part of that grant is to fund analysts at the federal level that will help us focus our resources exactly where they need to be,” said Beck.