Vehicle burglary and rape were exceptions to the overall decline in crime in the first half of 2017. That is according to a new report by WeHo by the Numbers that looks at recent crime trends using city data.
Total violent and property crime had been trending upward since reaching a low point in 2014. The number rose 5% in 2015 and 11% in 2016. However, the number declined 7% in the first half of 2017. That suggests the upward trend has been arrested, at least for now.
Robbery and grand theft auto have followed the overall pattern, going up and then starting to reverse their rise in the first half of 2017. Both robbery and grand theft auto grew by a third over three years from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2017, but dropped in the last six months. Petty theft and (non-auto) grand theft followed the same pattern to a lesser degree.
Vehicle burglary, on the other hand, continued to rise this year. The number rose 37% in the first half of 2017 versus the prior six months. This June was the biggest month for vehicle burglaries in the last three years, with 53. From fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2017, the number of vehicle burglaries increased by more than 50%.
Rape was another exception to the overall decline in crime in the last six months. It is difficult to isolate the real trend, because of a 2015 change in the definition of rape for reporting purposes. The change increased the number of crimes categorized as rape, so one cannot directly compare recent data to pre-2015 numbers.
Nevertheless, the available data suggest an increase in the number of reported rapes and sex-related felonies. In the first six months after the definition changed, there were six reported rapes. Since then, there have been 12 to 14 every six months. The combined number of rapes and sex-related felonies went from nine in the first half of 2014 to 26 in the second half of 2016.
The trend line for aggravated assault pointed down throughout the last three years. The number fell 15% in the last six months. Arson has also declined: there were only two in the first six months of 2017.
The trend is not clear for burglary — which has had ups and downs over the last three years – or for homicide, which is rare.
For more information, see the full report, What are the crime trends in West Hollywood midway through 2017? To see crime statistics and comparisons for any of 463 California cities, visit the crime dashboard.