Have arrests “plummeted” in West Hollywood?
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that arrests are “plummeting across California.” The decline hasn’t been accompanied by a drop in crime, so it raises questions. The newspaper’s research showed:
- A 25% drop in Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) arrests between 2013 and 2015
- Significant declines in arrests by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego Police Department
- A 50-year low in arrests statewide in 2015
We wondered whether arrests have also fallen in West Hollywood. We did not delve into possible causes.
Arrests over time
The number of arrests in West Hollywood has gone down, up, down, and maybe up again in the new millennium. The number fell fast in the early 2000s. Starting in 2005, it generally rose until 2010, when it peaked. A gentle decline was followed by big drops in 2014 and 2015 and a partial rebound in 2016.
Comparison to nearby cities
Between 2012 and 2014, the number of arrests declined 18% in West Hollywood. They also dropped in Los Angeles (-17%), Burbank (-9%), Culver City (-8%), and California as a whole (-2%). However, the number of arrests grew in Beverly Hills (+20%) and Santa Monica (+18%). Even with that growth, arrests in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica were still below their pre-2010 levels.
Longer-term comparison to nearby cities
Over a longer period, West Hollywood was different from nearby cities. The number of arrests increased 20% from 2005 to 2014. In nearby cities, the number of arrests fell 10% to 36%. Arrests dropped 20% statewide.
Comparison of arrests per 1,000 residents
We calculated the number of arrests per 1,000 residents over the decade from 2005 to 2014. In West Hollywood, the number generally rose and then — starting in 2011 — fell.
In Los Angeles, the number of arrests per 1,000 residents started declining in 2008. The decline continued through 2016, based on the state data and the newspaper’s reporting.
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