The share of West Hollywood crimes that are solved has reached new highs in recent years. That is according to a report by WeHo by the Numbers based on crime clearance data from the California Department of Justice.
A crime is “cleared” when a suspect is arrested, charged and turned over for prosecution. A crime also can be cleared without an arrest if, for example, the suspect has died. The “clearance rate” is calculated by taking the number of crimes cleared in a given period — regardless of when they occurred — and dividing by the number of reported crimes in that period. For crimes that take time to solve, the crime and the clearance may not happen in the same period. In fact, if a lot of past crimes are solved all at once, the clearance rate can temporarily exceed 100%.
In 2016, West Hollywood’s clearance rate for violent crimes was higher than it has ever been. Over a five-year period ending in 2016, the Sheriff’s Department cleared 63% of violent crimes in the city. A decade earlier, the average was 45%. The report focuses on five-year averages because the yearly numbers fluctuate in smaller cities. That said, the one-year clearance rate also peaked in 2016. At 72%, it was the highest since the city’s incorporation in 1984.
West Hollywood had the highest violent crime clearance rate among nearby cities in the most recent five-year period. The average rate was 63% in West Hollywood, compared to 58% in Santa Monica, 54% in Culver City, 40% in Los Angeles and 35% in Beverly Hills.
The wide range of numbers may be due in part to reporting differences among police departments. One way to avoid those differences is to compare West Hollywood to the other cities served by the Sheriff’s Department. By that measure, West Hollywood’s rate was still better than average: 63% versus 58%.
The clearance rate is typically much lower for property crimes than for violent crimes. In West Hollywood, it is two-thirds lower. It averaged 22% in the five-year period ending in 2016. That was an historical high, tied with 2014. A decade earlier, the average was 13%.
West Hollywood’s five-year clearance rate for property crimes was better than average for cities served by the Sheriff’s Department: 22% versus 17%. It was also higher than the rates in Santa Monica, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, which were at 10% or less. On the other end, Culver City stood out for its 44% clearance rate, double West Hollywood’s.
To see the clearance rates for homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson, read the full report, Do crimes committed in West Hollywood get solved?