Crime in West Hollywood is up 137% from the same time last year, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

In February 2022, nearly 250 “Part One” crimes — which include acts of murder, rape, burglary, aggravated assault, arson and human trafficking — were reported, compared to 105 incidents in February 2021.

“The only reason why you’re gonna come this far, into this neighborhood, is because either a) you believe you’re gonna get away with it, or b) you’re not gonna get punished for it and the stats are showing that,” security expert Russell Stuart, owner of Force Protection Agency, said.

He adds that the criminals are getting younger, and he believes the gangs are sending them because L.A. District Attorney George Gascon is not punishing minors.  

KTLA reached out to the DA’s office for comment.

West Hollywood’s mayor and City Council told KTLA they didn’t want to speak on the matter until after they get their Public Safety Update at their next meeting Monday night. 

Courtney Friel reports for the KTLA 5 News at 12 on March 16, 2022.