The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) released its crime statistics recently for the month of March, which showed a 3.5% reduction in violent crime and a .5% reduction in property crime when compared to last year.
The restrictions on public gatherings in efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus may have played a role in the reduced volume of crime overall, however, a closer look at the data shows that some crimes have spiked this year.
In the categories of garage and auto burglaries, there were a total of 41 garage burglaries reported citywide compared to 24 this time last year, accounting for a 70.8% increase.
For commercial burglaries, police reported 63 cases, a 53.7% increase from last year.
The data also shows drastic differences between the north and south parts of town, with a 9% increase in the uptown and a 28.3% decrease in the downtown region for the categories of violent and property crimes.
When looking at the North Division’s numbers, there was one reported case for murder, seven rape cases and 26 for aggravated assault. There was a decrease in robbery, as 11 cases were reported this year for March compared to 16 in 2019.
In the western part of town, there was a 13.1% increase in violent crime–– a 21% increase for the total amounts of violent and property crimes.
The West Division also reported 45 auto burglary crimes, when this time last year, there were a total of 16. In the category of property crime overall for the West Division, there was a 23.6% increase.
At the county level Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said there is a significant drop in crime overall.
During a briefing April 20, Villanueva shared the department’s recent crime statistics, which showed violent crimes were down by 10%, homicide decreased by 21% and property crime was down by over 11%.
“These are all very encouraging statistics,” Villanueva said.
He added that since March 29, there has been one arrest and 30 citations related to COVD-19 enforcement.
“These are the people that are not engaged in voluntary compliance,” Villanueva said when referring to COVID-19 enforcement. “We’ve done everything possible to avoid having to use an enforcement tool, but they’re the ones that just refused, so we are going to give citations and enforce them, because all of these health orders are important for everyone’s safety”
A rising crime trend Villanueva said the department was concerned about involved domestic violence calls. There was an 8% increase with 933 cases compared to 863 last year.
Mary Ellen Mitchell, executive director of WomenShelter Long Beach, told the Signal Tribune in March that staying home was difficult for victims of domestic violence.
“This situation is a terrifying time for victims of domestic violence,” she said “They feel stuck.”