Crime numbers plunge in L.A. amid coronavirus stay at home order

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An LAPD patrol vehicle is seen in May 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

An LAPD patrol vehicle is seen in May 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

Los Angeles has seen a 23% drop in crime in the past month as California has been under a stay at home order to fight the spread of coronavirus, the city’s police chief said.

“People staying home in their neighborhoods, watching out for each other, and exercising social distancing is allowing us to have a safer city,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said.

The plunge in crime over the last month has been in nearly every category, including both violent and property crimes, Moore said.

Los Angeles has also seen an 11 percent drop in family violence crime when compared to the same time last year, Moore said, even though times of stress can usually lead to an increase.

Traffic collisions and DUI-related collisions have also decreased, Moore said.

The declines come as a stay at home order and social distancing rules appear to be slowing the spread of the virus in California, where there aremore than 16,000 cases and nearly 400 deaths.

Los Angeles recorded a 7% increase in coronavirus cases Monday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said at news conference. It was the city’s first single-digit daily increase since March 14, five days before the state’s stay at home order went into effect.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer urged residents to continue to stay home this week, skipping even trips to the grocery store.

“If you have enough supplies in your home, this would be the week to skip shopping altogether,” said Ferrer. “We will see many more cases over the next few weeks. It remains important that we continue to do what we know will work.”

California has taken steps to ease the burden and stress of social distancing on its residents, including those out of work and those in correctional facilities.

For instance, California’s Judicial Council approved a series of temporary emergency rules Monday that includes suspending eviction and foreclosure proceedings and setting the bail statewide to $0 for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies to “safely reduce jail populations.”

“We are at this point truly with no guidance in either history, law or precedent. And to say that there is no playbook is a gross understatement of the situation,” Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye said Monday.

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