Captain Nieto of the LAPD’s Olympic Division is contributing a regular column on crime trends and prevention strategies for our neighborhoods.
October is upon us and we all know that this time of year of course means football, Halloween and a return to Standard Time and shorter days. October also happens to be Crime Prevention Month and National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and is a good time for reflection on crime prevention strategies.
As we near the end of the year, we are looking at some good reductions in thefts, auto thefts and robberies which are down 13%, 8% and 2% respectively.
Unfortunately, we have shown a 15% increase in burglary from motor vehicles and a 22% overall increase in burglaries. Of even greater concern is the increase in violent crimes we have seen this past year. Homicides are up 166%, rapes up 15% and aggravated assaults are up 25%.
All officers at Olympic Community Police Station would like to encourage members of the community to take precautions to avoid assaults and conflict situations that could rapidly escalate into violent confrontations. Some tips to avoid violent confrontations include:
- Avoid arguments especially with individuals who have been drinking;
- Don’t walk alone after dark if it can be avoided, try to always walk with a friend;
- If you feel you are being followed by someone, enter an open business;
- Have your keys out and ready as you approach your car and always try to park your vehicle in a well-lit, well-travelled area.
Unfortunately, some violence occurs not at the hands of strangers but at the hands of loved ones, often inside one’s own home. As mentioned, October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In the United States, approximately one out of every two families will be involved in some form of domestic violence at one time or another. This violence can have a lasting effect and children who witness such acts are more likely to repeat them later in life as adults. There is no excuse for domestic violence and help is available. You are not alone. In addition to your local Police Department, you can also call the Domestic Violence Safety Plan Hotline at (800) 978-3600. If you are experiencing this situation, or know someone else who is, please make the call.
Finally, October of course means Halloween and LAPD Olympic Area wishes all children a safe and happy night of trick or treating! Remember if you are out driving that night, slow down and look out for children. If you are a parent, ensure that your trick-or-treaters have a flashlight, are accompanied by an adult, and exercise caution in crossing all streets. Also, carefully inspect all treats before allowing children to eat them. Additional Halloween safety tips can be viewed at www.lapdonline.org.