News in Depth
See LB 2002 Crime Increases Citywide (combining safe and less safe parts of city) Since 2001: Murder, Rape, Robbery & Assaults, Res Burg, Auto Burg & Grand Theft All Up
Plus What Others Didn't Report: Crime Changes When Measured Since 2000
Part 1 Crimes Against Persons
(February 8, 2003) -- LB City Hall has released final 2002 crime statistics, cumulated citywide (i.e. combined totals of safe and less safe parts of city). These are traditionally released and reported in other media, showing comparisons this year to the last.
However, LBReport.com has gone further...and included a comparison to LB's crime statistics from 2000, letting readers assess LB's crime changes over the past two years.
We believe the figures below speak for themselves.
In 2002, 67 people were murdered in LB -- an average of about 5 1/2 killings each month, averaging over one a week. That's 18 more murders than in 2002 than in 2001 and 2000 (there were 49 murders in both years).
Not all data indicate increases. In some cases, the number of robberies declined slightly over the past two years (basically flat) but showed a significant increase during the past 12 months. Other categories posted alarming increases...as in the number of aggravated assaults, up a whopping 24.7% over two years (the one year increase only showed 5.4%).
In her Jan. 14, 2003 State of the City address (as prepared for delivery, posted on LBReport.com), LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill said, "For the first time in ten years, we had a rise in the crime rate during 2001 and the early part of 2002, as did most metropolitan areas. But unlike most other cities, violent crimes have begun to decline in Long Beach during the second half of 2002, and if the trend continues we could be returning to the lower crime rate of the late 1990s."
A release from the City Manager's office accompanying the 2002 crime stats notes that murders in the fourth quarter of 2002 dropped by 50%. Quoted in the release, LBPD Chief Anthony Batts added:
"We are currently undergoing a realignment of the Detective Bureau that will continue to shift our focus towards the reduction of violent crimes as well as those crimes that have risen over the past year."
Some statistical notes: As LBReport.com has previously noted, "citywide" crime data are useful but suffer from an inherent and unavoidable weakness: they combine data from relatively safe areas with less safe areas, meaning they may mask disproportionately crime impacted areas.
LB homeowners, businesses and neighborhood groups are fortunate that in addition to citywide data, LBPD provides detailed crime data by Council district as well as neighborhood size reporting districts. This is crucial for meaningful community policing and public awareness. As in previous years, LBReport.com will also post these detailed data when the become available (currently pending).
The citywide crime data below show crime comparisons from 2001 to 2002 and (with LBReport.com's computation) from 2000 to 2002. Some categories (like commercial burglaries) were apparently inadvertently omitted from a press release. but we expect they'll be added shortly. In some categories, LBPD now provides data with considerable detail (residential burglaries separated from residential garage burglaries). Since these details weren't available in 2000, we can't directly compare these categories for 2000 to 2002.
Finally, since the reported crimes are "absolute" data, they might increase along with the city's population. For the record, the CA Dept. of Finance, Demographic Research Unit, indicates LB's 2000 census count was 461,522. In its annual update of CA city populations, the CA Dept. of Finance estimated that on January 1, 2001 LB's population was 466,900 (an increase of 1.2% over the 2000 census) and on January 1, 2002 was 473,100 (an increase of 2.5% over 2000).
The following tables show LB crime changes for 2001-2002...and 2000-2002:
Part 1 Crimes Against Property
|Not comp||Not comp|
|Petty Theft +50|
Petty Theft -50
|Not comp||Not comp|
|Total Part 1 Crimes||19,415||18,569||17,755||+846||+4.5%||+1,660||+9.3%|
|Total Part 2 Crimes||15,116||14,684||14,103||+432||+2.9%||+1,013||+7.1%|