LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and police Chief Charlie Beck touted a continuing drop in the city's overall crime rate during the first six months of 2014 despite an increase in violent crime.
At a news conference Wednesday, they noted that property crime dropped 7 percent and gang-related crimes were down 13 percent compared to the same period last year.
But reported violent crimes increased by 2.9 percent to 8,610 crimes compared to the same period last year. That rise was driven by a 12 percent increase in aggravated assaults, or assaults usually involving a weapon that result in great injury.
Beck says the department's "very concerned" by the trend and is "dissecting it."
Garcetti says the rise may be because more simple assaults are being reported as aggravated assaults.