Driven by a 12 percent jump in aggravated assaults, violent crime rose in the first part of 2014 even as the city's crime numbers continued to drop, according to LAPD statistics released Wednesday.
Police Chief Charlie Beck acknowledged the jump and said the department was looking into what drove the increase at a time when overall crime in the city continued to decline.
There were 4,334 aggravated assaults in the first six months of the year, up from 3,868 during the same period in 2013.
“We will focus on this piece relentlessly,” he said, while also pointing to a continued decrease in all other categories of violent crime, including rape and homicide.
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Mayor Eric Garcetti said they are also looking into the possibility the jump has something to do with the way officers are reporting crimes, rather than an increase in attacks.
"Los Angeles continues to be safer per capita in serious crime than we've seen since 1949," he said.
He pointed to data-driven policing strategies and a stepped-up focus on crime prevention for helping to push down the overall numbers for Part I crimes, which include robbery, burglary and car theft.
“The headline is ‘Crime is down,’” Garcetti said.
There were 47,225 Part 1 crimes through June, down from 49,896 for the first part of 2013.