What summer crime spike?

In LA, crime rates hold pretty throughout the year

Nationally, crimes spike in the summer. The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics found that serious violence was higher in the summer than any other season. It’s a big public safety issue. Except in Los Angeles. 


Here,  where we’re blessed with sunny weather and clear skies year-round, we face about the same chance of being assaulted or robbed or having stuff stolen from our cars in summer months than the rest of the year, unfortunately. 


Last year, May topped the list for the month with the highest number of average crimes per day, but not by much. The summer months of June and July were next on the list, then April followed by August.


The difference between the month with the highest number of average daily crimes (636 in May) and the month with the least (588 in December) was about 9%. The average daily reported crime count for the summer was 630. For all of 2018, it was 616. The summer months have about a 2% higher daily crime count than the rest of the year.




Still, as you prepare for your summer vacation, you may want to get out of town anyway, especially for the Fourth of July, which was the holiday with the second highest average crimes per day since 2010, after Halloween.  


The LAPD said that summer programs may stem rise in crime in summer months. “Keeping people active and social can deter crime,” said LAPD spokesman Officer Drake Madison.


If you do stay in town for June, July and August, here’s what you should know for summer crimes.


During the 2018 summer, there were 5,030 simple assaults, making it the top summer crime, according to publicly available LAPD data. The top five crimes last summer were battery simple assault, burglary from vehicles, stolen vehicles, theft and burglary. Of course, you may actually be at risk during the rest of the year, too, as battery simple assault was the overall most common crime for the past five years, except 2016, when stolen cars topped the list.


Battery simple assault is when a suspect without a weapon physically attacks a victim and doesn’t cause serious injury, according to the LAPD.





Over the past five years, the summer of 2017 had both the highest total crime count of all the past five summers, with 58,562 crime reports, and the highest amount of reported simple assaults of the past five summers, with 5,129.


Keep your summer full of smiles and sun by staying alert and aware of your surroundings and parking your vehicle in well-lit busy areas. These are the best ways to prevent being assaulted or having your vehicle stolen, according to the LAPD.


How we did it: We looked at publicly available LAPD data on reports of crime during the summer months – June, July and August – in Los Angeles from 2010 – 2018, the earliest date available in the data. For neighborhood boundaries, we rely on the borders defined by the Los Angeles Times. Learn more about our data here.


LAPD data only reflects crimes that are reported to the department, not how many crimes actually occurred. On occasion, the LAPD may update past crime reports with new information, or recategorize past reports. Those revised reports do not always automatically become part of the public database.


Want to know how your neighborhood fares? Or simply just interested in our data? Email us at askus@xtown.la.