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In his statement on MSNBC, the former mayor specifically cited gang crime as one category of violent crime that had dropped. An investigation by VICE News in 2015, however, sheds light on a more nuanced change in LA gang crime in recent years.It found that while "gang crime is down in the city, many experts cautioned that gangs haven't disappeared." "Gang members and gangs altogether have gone underground, pure and simple," Jorja Leap, a UCLA professor who researches gangs and criminal justice, told VICE News.Breaking from the long-term trend, California and the nation saw an increase in violent crime rates in 20, according to state and national figures.Criminologists credit factors from the economy to demographic changes to incarceration rates for driving crime trends nationally and in California.Jerry Brown in 2018, spoke in detail in a late July interview on MSNBC about LA’s reduction in violent crime and the steps he claims led to that result."In the eight years that I was mayor, (there was a) nearly 50 percent drop in violent crime, gang crime — crime went down because we grew our police department, we focused on constitutional community policing, we did some of the most innovative prevention, intervention, job re-entry programs in the nation." We wanted to know whether Villaraigosa’s claim about this big drop in violent crime stood up to the facts.Instead, she cited the strategy executed by the police as a more important element.
They totaled nearly 73,000 in 1992 and had decreased to less than 38,000 by 2002. Robert Stern, former president of the Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies, said Villaraigosa should get some credit for his successful push to hire hundreds of new LAPD officers.Looking at another large city, New York, during the specific period of Villaraigosa’s tenure, we found only a 7 percent decline in the violent crime rate.But looking at a broader period, from 1995 through 2013, New York saw a nearly 60 percent decline.They also said that key factors that drive crime trends, such as the economy, changing demographics and incarceration rates, are largely out of the control of a mayor.Villaraigosa’s statement does not include this context.