Where are you likely to feel safer? The City of West Hollywood? Or that WeHo-adjacent community known as Beverly Hills?
According to a recently released compilation of 2010 to 2016 crime statistics, WeHo has Beverly Hills beat. The compilation by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice reports that Part 1 crimes (government jargon for serious crimes) fell 6.9% in West Hollywood during that period. In Beverly Hills, our equally populous next-door neighborhood, they were up 41.3%. In Los Angeles County as a whole, Part 1 crimes increased 4.7% in that seven-year period. In the rest of California Part 1 crimes fell 5%. West Hollywood contracts with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department for public safety services while Beverly Hills has its own police force. The data doesn’t reveal the actual number of crimes.
The CJCJ data accompanies a report that attempts to analyze the impact on serious crime of changes during what has been called the “justice reform era.” Those changes include the passage of Proposition 47 and Proposition 57. As explained by the state Corrections Department: “Proposition 47, the ballot initiative passed by California voters on Nov. 4, 2014, reduces certain drug possession felonies to misdemeanors. It also requires misdemeanor sentencing for petty theft, receiving stolen property and forging/writing bad checks when the amount involved is $950 or less.” Proposition 57, passed by voters in November 2016, lets prison inmates earn credits for early release by participating in prison and volunteer activities and for good behavior.
Some residents and law enforcement officers have claimed that Proposition 47 has led to an increase in crime by making it harder to imprison people on drug charges or petty theft charges, The CJCJ report argues that the wide range of increases and decreases in Part 1 crimes in various cities is proof that it is local policies and condition that matter. “From 2010 to 2016, roughly half of LA County’s 89 jurisdictions showed an increase in crime (53%) and half showed a decrease (47%). Most jurisdictions elsewhere in California (259 of 422) showed decreases in their crime rates … Given the localized nature of crime rates, cities in Los Angeles County that showed rate reductions through the reform era could serve as county or statewide models for successful approaches to crime reduction amid justice reform,” the report concludes.
West Hollywood’s seven-year change in Part 1 crime rates, broken down by types of crime, is as follows: Violent crimes (-32.1%), property crimes (-0.5%), homicide (-68%), robbery (-25.8%), assault (-19.7%), vehicle theft (+3.2%), theft (+4%).
Beverly Hills’ seven-year change in Part 1 crimes: Violent crimes (+39.1%), property crimes (+41.5%), homicide (+100%), robbery (+37.8%), assault (+28.2%), burglary (+14.5%), vehicle theft (+59.6%), theft (+50.7%).