By City News Service
Los Angeles recorded another large drop in homicides in 2013, and nowhere has the trend been more pronounced than in the San Fernando Valley, it was reported Tuesday.
The Valley had 40 homicides this year, dropping 35 percent from 2012 in the biggest decline of any region in the city, the Los Angeles Times reported. As recently as 2006, the region recorded 87 homicides.
When it comes to falling crime, much of the focus has been on traditionally high-crime areas like South L.A. and the Eastside. But police officials and community leaders tell The Times that the decline in violence in tough parts of the Valley -- Pacoima, Lakeview Terrace, Sun Valley and Sylmar -- has also been striking.
Across Los Angeles, homicides this year are down 16 percent from 2012, and the city is on target to end 2013 with the fewest killings since 1966. The city recorded 250 homicides this year, as of Dec. 28, compared to 298 in 2012, The Times recorded. Across the city, overall serious crime fell for the 11th straight year -- down by 5 percent.
L.A. crime decreased across the board. Violent crimes declined by 12 percent and property crimes declined by another 4 percent. The number of reported rapes in the city fell by a quarter compared to 2012.
The reduction in Los Angeles homicides is part of a long-term trend seen in America's big cities.
The San Fernando Valley comprises a diverse array of communities, including affluent hillside neighborhoods as well as working-class Latino areas. Officials tell The Times that the bulk of the drop in homicides has occurred in the Northeast Valley, which has long suffered from gang problems.