While homicides were up slightly in Los Angeles this year, overall crime dropped 1.5 percent, according to Los Angeles Police Department statistics.
Homicides rose 1 percent, going from 291 in 2011 to 294 in 2012, according to data through Dec. 22.
Robberies saw the biggest drop of 11 percent, going from 9,833 in 2011 to 8,751 this year.
Total violent violent crime dropped 8 percent while property crimes remained about the same.
Criminologists are trying to wrap their heads around L.A.’s crime drop while other cities across the country are seeing crime rates level off or begin to rise after historic drops in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The FBI, which compiles annual crime statistics, reported violent and property crime declines of nearly 4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, from 2011 to 2010.
The violent crime rate for the year was 386.3 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, a 4.5 percent decrease from the 2010 rate.
The property crime rate was nearly 2,909 offenses per 100,000 people, a 1.3 percent drop from the 2010 figure. There is a one-year lag time between FBI crime data and local police agencies to give the agency time to analyze the data.
Charis E. Kubrin, an associate professor in criminology the University of California, Irvine, attributes the crime drops of the early 2000s to record incarceration rates, a drop in the “crack cocaine” market and a strong economy.
LA is bucking the current trend.
“It’s puzzling,” said Kubrin. “It’s very difficult to pinpoint why.”
While year-end statistics are are still being compiled, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department reported a drop in homicides and an increase in violent crime, the Los Angeles Times reported.