Report shows crime rates down nationally and in Los Angeles

All crime including murder and violent crime down

Overall crime, including violent crime and murder, declined in the 30 largest US cities in 2018 from 2017, according to a recent Brennan Center analysis. This includes a decreased crime rate in the city of Los Angeles, which fell by 3.1%, compared to New York City’s rate, which fell by 0.8% and Chicago’s rate, which fell by 2.7%.


Overall crime rate:

  • Overall crime rate fell in the 30 biggest cities by 3.5% from 2017.  
  • In the City of Los Angeles, overall crime rate fell by 3.1% 


Violent crime rate:

  • Nationally, the violent crime rate fell 4% from 2017.
  • In the City of Los Angeles, violent crime rate fell 3.5% from 2017. 


Murder rates:

  • Nationally, murder rates – the number of murders per 100,000 residents – were down 8% from 2017.
  • Here in the City of Los Angeles, the murder rate was down 9% from 2017. 


We reported earlier this year that the change in the number of reported criminal homicides – 282 in 2017 and 259 in 2018 – was down 8%. 


The Brennan Center for Justice is a policy institute based at the NYU School of Law.


Study authors used crime data published by city law enforcement agencies. For Los Angeles, the authors used numbers reported by LAPD Chief Michel Moore in his end-of-year report. The chief’s report only includes what the department calls Part 1 crimes, records of which they send on to the FBI. Part 1 crimes include homicide, rape, burglary, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary from cars, personal theft and car theft. 


For 2018, the final year-end number for total Part 1 crimes reported was 128,909, a rate  (3,134.7 crimes per 100,000 residents) decrease of 3.1% from 2017.


But when you count all crimes, including the Part 1 crimes and others such as vandalism, graffiti and others, the total number of crimes recorded in 2018 for the City of Los Angeles was 227,020, or a rate of 5675.5 crimes per 100,000 residents. 


This means, for all crimes in the City of Los Angeles in 2018, the crime rate fell by just under 1% (.92%) from 2017.


The Brennan report goes on to detail how U.S. crime rates have dropped dramatically since peaking in 1991. Los Angeles mirrored this trend, with a peak of criminal homicides in 1992, when 1,092 people were murdered in the city coinciding with widespread protests that year stemming from the police beating of Rodney King. High levels of violence were not uncommon in both the ‘80s and ‘90s: In 1980, 1,028 people were killed.


Study authors, who used law enforcement data for the report, are waiting for final FBI data to confirm their findings to see if, indeed, crime has reached a record low in the U.S.