Which crimes increased in West Hollywood in 2016?
Now that 2016 is over, we can look at full-year crime numbers for West Hollywood. An earlier report showed that crime was trending up. How much did crime grow in 2016? Which crimes went up? Which went down?
In 2016, West Hollywood had about 1,870 reported violent and property crimes. The chart below puts that number in historical context. In the last decade, the total averaged around 1,800. It was a bit lower from 2013 to 2015, but moved back up in 2016. The total rose by 175 crimes or 10% between 2015 and 2016.
Violent crime and property crime went in different directions in 2016. Property crime grew 13%. Violent crime as a whole declined 3% in the last year and almost 20% in the last five years.
Over longer time horizons, both violent and property crime have dropped dramatically. For example, even with the increase in 2016, the total was still down almost 60% versus 30 years ago.
Which crimes went up
The number of motor vehicle thefts, rapes, strong-arm robberies, and larcenies/thefts increased in 2016 AND their 2016 levels were above average by recent historical standards. We used the 10-year period from 2006 to 2015 to calculate the averages. Those crimes were up in both the short-term and the medium-term.
There were 28 reported rapes in 2016 versus 19 in 2015. That’s an increase of close to 50%. The total number was almost double the average for the prior 10 years and higher than in any one of those years. A quick test confirms that the increase was statistically significant.
The rise in larceny/theft was much smaller but still statistically significant. The number grew almost 10% from 2015 to 2016. The new level was more than 10% above the 10-year average. Larceny/theft includes grand theft, petty theft, and thefts from vehicles.
The number of motor vehicle thefts (“grand theft auto”) grew roughly 60% in 2016. That brought it back to the 2008 level. Until 2016, the number had been on a downward trend since at least 2006.
The number of strong-arm robberies grew almost 30% in 2016, but the level wasn’t unusual compared to the prior 10 years. In West Hollywood, a strong-arm robbery is often either an unarmed mugging or a shoplifter forcing their way past a store employee.
Which crimes went down
Aggravated assault and arson went down. There were 45 fewer aggravated assaults in 2016 than 2015. The number dropped over 25%. It wound up 30% below the average for the prior 10 years. It was a large and statistically significant change.
The change in the number of arsons wasn’t statistically significant. West Hollywood has so few arsons that a difference of one or two can look like a big change.
Which crimes were mixed
The picture was mixed for armed robbery and burglary. The numbers went up in 2016 from 2015: about 35% for armed robberies, over 15% for residential burglaries, and 10% for other burglaries (such as a burglary of a business). Despite the increases, the levels of those crimes were still about 10% to 15% below the 10-year averages.
We didn’t include homicides in the analysis because very small numbers make it hard to see any trend. The city had zero, one, or two homicides in most recent years. There were two in 2016, unchanged from 2015.
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