The Los Angeles Police Department released crime statistics Monday showing that violent crime rose last year for the first time since 2003, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was disappointed to report the increase on his watch, but emphasized that the city’s level of violence remained at historically low levels.
Department data show violent crime was up 14.3% last year compared to 2013, driven by a spike in aggravated assaults, which increased by 28.3%. Homicides and robberies were up slightly, while the number of rapes climbed nearly 21%.
The figures mean that about 2,360 additional people fell victim to violence in Los Angeles last year over the previous year. Last year’s violent crime totals were also higher than the year-end tally reported in 2012.
City officials announced a set of measures Monday to combat the rise in violence, including a domestic violence prevention initiative and using a grant to improve data analysis and reduce recidivism in high violence areas.
Police Chief Charlie Beck attributed the increase in violent crime to three factors: improvements in how LAPD classified crimes, a spike in domestic violence cases and alcohol-fueled street attacks.