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Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach Crime Close-Up

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Hermosa Beach 1998 to 2004 Crime Statistics, since the Pier Plaza Renovation

 

                                                   All                           Criminal        Adult        Total Calls      Disturbance

            Burglary     Robbery      Assaults        DUI      Citations       Arrests      For Service      Calls            

 1998 --  113              17                77             150            562              608           19,951           3,199

 2004 --  140              20              143             195          1,419           1,388           30,215           4,201  

     Up            Up               Up            Up            Up               Up              Up               Up

  23.9 %     17.6 %      85.7 %       30 %      152 %        128 %        51.4 %       31.3 %

 

 

Manhattan Beach 1998 to 2004 Crime Statistics

 

            Burglary      Robbery         All             DUI         Criminal        All            Total Calls

                                                    Assaults                    Citations       Arrests      For Service

1998 --   227              42               133             278             ----            1,487             20,766 

2004 --   213              31               162             158             807           1,026             18,983

             Down        Down            Up            Down          ---            Down           Down

   6.2 %       26 %           22 %         43 %        n/a             31 %           8.6 %

 


The Daily Breeze – March 19, 2006

Crime close-up: Hermosa Beach

 

Crime went up in Hermosa Beach 7.6 percent, primarily because of burglaries. All of the city's other crime numbers were down in 2005.

The rise in burglaries was attributed to street gang members from Los Angeles committing a series of break-ins in Hermosa Beach, Torrance and Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach police Sgt. Paul Wolcott said.

In the crimes, lookouts used cellular telephones to communicate as their fellow thieves ransacked homes. Torrance police arrested five suspects in the crimes, helping to alleviate the problem in Hermosa Beach, Wolcott said.

In other crime activity, the city's one homicide at a Pacific Coast Highway construction site involved a love triangle. A suspect remains at large.

The big story in the city continued to surround the downtown plaza area, its sometimes rowdy customers and lawsuits against police officers.

Although it wasn't clear why, arrests dropped from 1,394 in 2004 to 1,038 in 2005. Police Chief Michael Lavin, who retired Feb. 9, said officers tried a new tactic when dealing with crowds at bars at Pier Plaza, making fewer arrests while trying to be more diplomatic in defusing problems before they got out of hand.

But, Lavin speculated, officers also might be wary of being too aggressive following a series of lawsuits alleging excessive force.

"People get a little gun-shy," Lavin said.

Officers, however, received fewer complaints in 2005. Lavin said he has consistently assigned many of the same police officers to work the downtown area and they developed more successful techniques in dealing with the crowds.

"I still think the biggest problem continues to be the plaza after hours," Lavin said. "After 10 o'clock to 2 (a.m.), that requires a lot of our attention. You have a certain number of people down there getting into brawls and all the associated criminal activity that occurs with people getting drunk."

Those crimes include noise, vandalism and public urination. In addition, two women were attacked as they walked home from bars.

Three officers also were injured and are off duty, possibly from incidents in the downtown area.

"That plaza really has taken its toll on us, unfortunately," he said.

 


  Since the Pier Plaza Renovation in 1997 - HBPD Crime Stats 1998 to 2004 

      Assaults Up 85% since the Pier Plaza Renovation

Assaults in 2004 were at an All-Time High since 1991.

       Arrests Up 128% from 1998 to 2004

Manhattan Beach Arrests went Down 31% from, 1998 to 2004.

       Criminal Citations Up 152%

Hermosa had 1419 Criminal Citations and Manhattan had 807 in 2004.

       HBPD Calls for Service Up 51%

In 2004, Hermosa had 30,215 Calls and Manhattan had 18,983 Calls.

       Disturbance Calls Up 31% from 1998 to 2004

Disturbance Call in 2004 were at an All-Time High since 1991.

Hermosa Beach Arrests, Assaults and Disturbance Calls reach all-time highs in 2004. 


 

-  Year 2004 Hermosa Beach per capita crime comparison to Manhattan Beach -

Hermosa Beach per capita Arrests were 2.5 times higher, than in Manhattan Beach.

Hermosa per capita Criminal Citations were 3.2 times higher, than in Manhattan Beach.

Hermosa per capita Calls for Service were 2.9 times higher, than in Manhattan Beach.


Excerpts from:

The Easy Reader – May 20, 2004

Bar owners meet with Hermosa Beach police

by David Rosenfeld

--- The city has attracted more people every year since construction of the Pier Plaza in 1997, coinciding with an increase in crime.

--- In 2003, police saw 140 assaults, compared to 77 in 1998.  There were 1,315 arrests in 2003 compared with 608 in 1998, and 285 DUI arrests compared to 150 in 1998. 

--- In February, police chief Michael Lavin cited “an ever-increasing level of violence in the downtown.”


Does a Higher Alcohol Outlet Density Create More Crime in Hermosa Beach?

  Alcohol Outlet Density - Retail alcohol outlets per square mile 

 

Manhattan Beach has 27 alcohol outlets per sq. mile with a population of 33,852.

 

Hermosa Beach has 65 alcohol outlets per sq. mile with a population of 19,175.

 

Manhattan Beach averaged less than 20,000 Calls for Service a year from 2001 to 2004.

 

Hermosa Beach averaged more than 30,000 Calls for Service a year from 2001 to 2004,

with a police force that is half the size of Manhattan Beach's.

 

Hermosa Beach has more than 2.4 times the Alcohol Outlet Density than Manhattan Beach.

 

Alcohol Outlet Density as a Cause of Crime and Violence

 

Alcohol Outlet Density Research Studies


 

Hermosa Beach Crime Statistics - 1998 thru 2003

 

      Rape        Burglary      Non-Injury       ALL              DUI         Criminal      Adult         Total Calls

                                                            Auto Acc.       Assaults                     Citations     Arrests     for Service

1998 --       8          113           201              77          150         562          608         19,951

1999 --       6          118           170            119          203         613          680         21,378

2000 --       6          145           195              97          152         545          616         25,147

2001 --       9          104           176            141          170         668          846         32,422

2002 --      15         118           202            131          214         943        1,012         28,728

2003 --      11         143           258            140          285         989        1,315         32,241

 

 

HB Crime Categories That Have Shown an Increase from 1998 thru 2003

 

                      Rape       Burglary        Non-Injury       ALL             DUI           Criminal        Adult          Total Calls

                                                             Auto Acc.       Assaults                      Citations       Arrests      for Service

                Up          Up             Up              Up           Up           Up            Up             Up

               37 %     26 %        28 %         81 %      90 %     75 %      116 %       61 %   

 

Crime Statistics from: The Hermosa Beach Police Department Activity Reports

 


Hermosa Beach Arrests, Assaults, Criminal Citations,

Disturbance Calls and Calls for Service, reach all-time highs in 2004 since 1991.

 


 

Excerpts from:

The Easy Reader - February 3, 2005

Arrests hit an all-time high

 

by Robb Fulcher

 

The year 2004 saw a record number of arrests in Hermosa -- 1,388 -- topping the old record of 1,315 set the year before.  Those high-water marks go back at least to 1991, when the Hermosa Beach Police Department began keeping detailed arrest records, Chief Mike Lavin said.

The downtown area with its active and sometimes rowdy nightlife has contributed to the increased arrests, Lavin said.  “That is a reflection, I would have to say, of the downtown.  We have so much activity there,” he said.
 

---   The number of assaults rose barely in 2004, from 140 the previous year to 143.

 

---    In another possibly downtown-related development, misdemeanor citations ballooned from 989 to 1,419.  Disturbance calls to police rose from 3,025 to 4,201.


 

HBNA Note:

 

---   The 143 Assaults in 2004 is an all-time high since 1991 in Hermosa Beach.

 

---   1,388 Adult Arrests in 2004 is an all-time high since 1991 in Hermosa Beach.

 

---   1,419 Criminal Citations in 2004 is an all-time high since 1991 in Hermosa Beach.

 

---   4,201 Disturbance Calls in 2004 is an all-time high since 1991 in Hermosa Beach.

 

---   The HBPD Calls for Service of 32,241 calls in 2003 and 30,215 calls in 2004 are an all-time high for any 2-year period, since 1991 in Hermosa Beach.

 

---   The HBPD Calls for Service has averaged 30,901 calls in the last 4 years, 2001 thru 2004.

 

---   Manhattan Beach is much larger than Hermosa and the Manhattan Beach Police had 18,983 Calls for Service in 2004 and arrested a total of 1,026 persons in 2004.

 

---   The Hermosa Beach Police had 19,951 Calls for Service in 1998 and arrested a total of 624 persons in 1998.

 

Manhattan Beach averaged less than 20,000 Calls for Service a year from 2001 to 2004.

 

Hermosa Beach averaged more than 30,000 Calls for Service a year from 2001 to 2004,

with a police force that is half the size of Manhattan Beach's.

 



The Daily Breeze – March 19, 2006

South Bay sees an overall drop in crime of 9.1%

 

Police, however, attribute rise in robberies in 2005 to criminals who target a specific area or age group. Cell phones and MP3 players popularity blamed for fueling teen-on-teen crimes.


DAILY BREEZE

Despite increases in homicides and robberies, crime in the South Bay and Harbor Area continued its downward spiral in 2005 thanks to large drops in burglaries, auto thefts and assaults.

The year's 9.1 percent overall drop echoes a trend across the country, and helped to keep crime levels at about half what they were in 1995.

"We are currently at a rate nationally that is as low as we've seen since the '60s," said Alfred Blumstein, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who studies crime rates and trends.

Crime numbers have fallen for years nationwide since peaking in about 1993.

Locally, using a formula utilized by state officials, major crime dropped in Carson, Gardena, the Harbor Area, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills Estates and Torrance.

Crime rose in El Segundo, Hermosa Beach and Lomita, but the numbers in those cities were so low in 2004 they almost had nowhere to go but up. Gated Rolling Hills went from three to four crimes last year.

State Justice Department officials use six categories to measure crime rates -- homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft.

Across the country, professors who study crime have said for years that the nation's rates are bottoming out and at some point crime will start rising.

Killings on the rise

Whether that is happening in some South Bay and Harbor Area communities is unclear. Eight more people lost their lives to homicide in 2005 than in the previous year. Gang shootings and deaths continue to occur in the Harbor Area and Hawthorne, though not at the same rates as in the early 1990s.

Still, in some areas of the nation, homicides are showing signs of rising, Blumstein said.

"The guns are out there and the threshold of what's sufficient 'disrespecting' to warrant a lethal reaction has been dropping in a lot of places," said Blumstein, who has spent 20 years studying crime trends. "It's easy for one gang to disrespect another one."

Robberies up in 8 areas

Robberies rose in eight South Bay areas. Police attributed the increase to groups of robbers who targeted businesses and pedestrians in several communities, and teenagers victimizing other teenagers for their MP3 players and cellular telephones.

Rape went up overall. Police officials in every city said most such crimes involved people who knew each other, such as acquaintance situations, and more victims were reporting those crimes. No serial rape cases were evident during the year.

Burglaries and auto thefts dropped sharply. Police in several cities said they have become increasingly committed to analyzing crime trends, using computer programs to establish where most crimes occur, and are deploying more patrols and anti-crime programs to those areas. Police officials said computerization has helped to lower auto thefts and burglaries, as well as take criminals off the streets.

Blumstein said tougher sentences for burglars during recent years have helped to reduce the crimes. A drop in drug use also has aided in reducing thefts where burglars steal merchandise to sell to buy narcotics.

Through the latter part of the 1990s, experts credited California's three-strikes law and other tough sentencing changes for taking career criminals off the street and reducing crime.

Factors behind the trend

Others cited an improved economy, a drop in drug and especially crack cocaine use, and a decline in the 18- to 24-year-old male population. Law enforcement officials also credit community involvement and proactive policing techniques such as gang injunctions and crime analysis.

Blumstein said crime rates have flattened across the country. In some areas they are up and in others down.

The professor said he had predicted crime would go up because of unemployment, diminished social services as a result of state and federal budget cuts, criminals released from prison returning to retake their turfs, and a police emphasis on terrorism following Sept. 11, 2001.

"It's not upon us," he said.

 


The Daily Breeze – March 19, 2006

Crime close-up: Manhattan Beach

 

Manhattan Beach's new police chief, Rod Uyeda, said he was pleased with crime numbers that show a continuing decline for a decade, including another 7.8 percent drop in 2005.

"The numbers look really good," said Uyeda, who joined the department in January following a long career in Pasadena. "I'm impressed with the fact the numbers went down."

Crimes in each category remained consistent from 2004 to 2005, slightly up or down, but assaults showed the largest drop.

Uyeda said a fully staffed patrol section allowed the department to keep closer watch on areas surrounding bars, a key in reducing the number of assaults.

"I know since I've gotten here I've been asking for more spot checks on those bars," Uyeda said.

Traffic is the No. 1 issue, although the huge volume of vehicles that travel through the city each day has not resulted in higher numbers of collisions involving injuries.

The city is looking into whether to purchase red-light cameras for its busy intersections.

One homicide occurred in 2005. The charred, bound and choked body of Lawndale resident Libia Cabrera, 39, was discovered April 11 when firefighters doused a blaze in a doctor's apartment in the 100 block of 28th Street. A suspect, Herbert Orlando Gonzalez, was ordered to stand trial on murder charges.

As with other agencies, Uyeda said he plans to have the department analyze crime numbers to look for trends. He wants officers to "really aggressively attack the crime" in a city that recorded the second-highest number of million-dollar home sales in the state last year. La Jolla was first.

The chief also plans to work with the Manhattan Beach Unified School District to reduce alcohol and drug use among students.

"I really believe most of these property-related crimes are related to drugs and narcotics," he said.

 



The following Hermosa Beach Police and Community Services Report is available at:

http://www.hermosabch.org/police/statistics.html

 

HERMOSA BEACH POLICE AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
QUARTERLY ACTIVITY REPORT
CALENDAR YEAR 2005

 

OCT

OCT

NOV

NOV

DEC

DEC

YTD

YTD

 

2004

2005

2004

2005

2004

2005

2004

2005

Murder

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Sex Crimes

0

0

1

1

0

0

6

6

Robbery

0

2

1

0

1

2

19

10

Assault

13

9

8

10

7

8

140

124

Burglary

9

23

11

8

15

14

137

187

Theft

24

21

20

24

26

21

362

336

Auto Theft

4

4

3

6

3

5

42

42

D.U.I.

15

16

10

10

41

65

195

197

Persons Arrested

Adult

136

71

125

59

102

119

1394

1038

Juvenile

0

3

3

0

3

3

19

26

Citations

Misd.

138

123

80

105

115

80

1360

1369

Traffic

362

145

238

110

183

108

3372

2101

Parking

4734

4362

3484

3834

2469

3415

51137

50978

Animal Con.

3

2

19

2

7

9

89

74

Traffic Accident Reports

Fatal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Injury

2

2

5

2

1

1

58

52

Non-Inj.

14

24

12

28

12

24

160

267

Disturbance Calls

 

348

389

250

280

226

268

4039

4145

Calls for Service

Police

2686

2408

2161

1976

2230

2136

29882

27338

Parking

213

249

180

320

226

180

2859

2513

Animal C.

73

118

69

90

51

112

949

972

Vehicle Impounds

 

94

71

68

59

100

97

960

781

Respectfully submitted to:City Manager Steve Burrell
Approved By: Chief M. Lavin
Prepared By: Lt. T. Bohlin


The Hermosa Beach Neighborhood Association

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