Is crime higher in West Hollywood than nearby cities?
In the past, crime in West Hollywood reflected the city’s geographic position between Central Los Angeles and the Westside. The city had less crime than the Los Angeles neighborhoods to the east, but more than the cities to the west. We now see a different pattern in our recently updated 461-city crime dashboard.
Crime in West Hollywood
West Hollywood had almost 2,000 reported “Part 1” violent or property crimes in 2017. That works out to five per day. The FBI-defined list of Part 1 crimes includes homicide, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft (also known as grand theft auto), and arson.
Thefts made up two-thirds of the crimes. Close to half of the thefts were from vehicles, or roughly 30% of all Part 1 crimes. More serious crimes were less common. The city averaged one homicide a year and two rapes a month. The average week had two stolen cars, two aggravated assaults, two robberies, and four burglaries. About a third of the robberies involved a weapon and half of the burglaries were of homes.
The standard measure of the level of crime is the crime rate: the number of reported offenses per 100,000 residents. By our calculations, both Beverly Hills and Santa Monica had higher Part 1 crime rates than West Hollywood in 2017. The rates were roughly 5,600 for Beverly Hills, 5,500 for Santa Monica, 5,400 for West Hollywood, and 5,200 for Culver City. The differences weren’t large, but it was new for West Hollywood to have less crime than both Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.
The City of Los Angeles as a whole had a rate of only 3,300. However the adjacent neighborhoods had higher crime rates than West Hollywood.
Crime rates adjusted for seriousness
There’s a big difference between homicide and petty theft, but they count equally in the standard crime rate. So we developed an adjusted crime rate that takes into account the seriousness of crimes. You can read about it in this report. Our rate is expressed in crimes per 10,000 residents, to distinguish it from the standard crime rate.
We adjusted the 2017 crime rates for West Hollywood and nearby cities. The level of crime was still higher in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica than in West Hollywood. The adjusted crime rates were approximately 530 for Beverly Hills, 500 for Santa Monica, and 490 for West Hollywood. Culver City had a markedly lower rate of 390.
The adjusted crime rates were all higher in the Los Angeles neighborhoods adjacent to West Hollywood. We estimated 550 for Hollywood, 570 for Beverly Grove, and a notable 770 for the Fairfax district.
West Hollywood now has a bit less crime than Beverly Hills and Santa Monica because of increases in those cities in the last three years. West Hollywood’s adjusted crime rate also went up, but not nearly as much and only after an even bigger decline.
The chart below shows the trends between 2007 and 2017. We can see the big gap between West Hollywood and the other cities disappear.
Growth in crime
From 2016 to 2017, West Hollywood crime fell slightly (-2%), while it grew in Beverly Hills (27%) and Santa Monica (15%). Those numbers are based on adjusted crime rates. The number of Part 1 crimes grew by similar percentages.
Over a 10-year period, the adjusted crime rate shrank 5% in West Hollywood but grew about 30% in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. The Beverly Hills increase was driven by property crimes. For Santa Monica, it was a mix of property and violent crimes. Culver City’s adjusted crime rate also increased 15% over the 10-year period.
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