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Killings up slightly in L.A. this year, overall crime continues to fall

July 7, 2010 |  7:08 am

The number of homicides in Los Angeles increased slightly in the first six months of 2010, but overall violent crimes continued to decline, according to crime statistics.

Violent crime in Los Angeles dropped 11.3% during the first half of 2010 compared to the same period last year but over the same period, the city experienced a 3% increase in homicides and an 8% jump in the number of shooting victims, crime statistics released Tuesday show.

As of Sunday, there were 151 homicides in the city midway through the year compared to 147 slayings last year. The number of shooting victims rose from 667 to 720 during the same period. Overall, homicides increased 3% while violent crimes decreased 11%.

Total violent crime fell to 10,919 reported incidents in the first six months of 2010 from 12,309 in the same period last year. Property crime was down 6% from 47,065 to 44,225 incidents over the same period. Overall, the numbers follow several years of declining crime numbers.

The homicide numbers include a mass shooting at a Valley Village restaurant in April that left four people dead.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported a 17% reduction in slayings (from 104 homicides in 2009 to 85 through June, 2010.

The sharpest drops took place at the sheriff's Century Station, which saw a 27% decline in murders and in Compton, where there were 30% fewer killings for the comparable period.

The trend follows a five-year reduction for the Sheriff's Department, which reported an overall decline of violent crime of 3.81% in the unincorporated areas of the county at the year's midway point and within its 40 contract cities.

In March, Sheriff Lee Baca reduced the time nonviolent male offenders spent in the jails from 80% of their jail time to 50% for crimes that included check kiting, petty theft and drunk driving.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Police at Valley Village restaurant shooting. Credit: KTLA News

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