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Report shows 41-year low in overall violent crime in Long Beach for 2013

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Based on preliminary crime data, Long Beach ended 2013 poised to achieve the lowest number of reported violent crimes in 41 years, according to a statement from the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) on Jan. 2.
When compared to 2012, statistics for 2013 reflect a more than 13.5-percent decrease in violent crime, an 8.5-percent decrease in property crime and a 9.3-percent decrease in total Part 1 crimes, according to LBPD.
“The continued downward trend in overall crime reflects the City’s ongoing commitment to public safety,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “I am thrilled that we are experiencing some of the lowest crime rates in the history of our city, and I want to commend the police department, its employees and our entire public-safety continuum for their exceptional efforts.”
LBPD anticipates the final 2013 statistics, which will be available to the public later this month, will reflect decreases in the violent-crime categories of rape (11.3 percent), robbery (10 percent), and aggravated assault (17.4 percent) as compared to 2012.
Murder is the only violent- crime category reflecting an increase— 6.7 percent over the prior year, with 32 murders in 2013 compared to 30 in 2012. Of the 32 murders, 19 were investigated as gang-related.
The total number of rapes (102 crimes) and robberies (1,114 crimes) are the lowest on record, according to LBPD.
As for property crime, which includes larceny (theft), burglaries, grand-theft auto and arson, the greatest decreases are projected in bike theft (25.6 percent) and petty theft of over $50 (20 percent).
Throughout the year, auto burglaries trended down, with an expected year-end decrease of 18.4 percent (450 crimes). Slight increases are expected in the petty theft of under $50 (5.5 percent) and residential burglary (1 percent) categories.
Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said in a statement that he attributes the property-crime reductions to an increase in community awareness, participation in crime-prevention efforts, and professionalism and hard work of the men and women of the Long Beach Police Department. “Although we’ve experienced reduced staffing levels in the last several years, I am tremendously proud of and impressed with the outstanding performance and commitment our employees demonstrate to the people we serve,” McDonnell said. “We also welcomed 40 new officers to the field last month and look forward to another academy class to continue our community partnerships and crime-fighting efforts in 2014.”
LBPD says it is working with law-enforcement agencies in the local, county, state and federal levels to leverage available resources to impact crime in Long Beach.
In 2013, the department focused attention on using social media as a conduit to improving communication with the community and introduced a new mobile application to “streamline the community’s access to the police department’s social-networking tools,” according to the LBPD statement.
The final year-end statistics will be available in mid-January on the Police Department website.

Source: LBPD

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Report shows 41-year low in overall violent crime in Long Beach for 2013