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Report: L.A. violent crime drops in 2008

January 5, 2009 8:55:46 AM PST
A new report says violent crime dropped slightly in the L.A. area during 2008 for the sixth straight year.Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa held a joint news conference with LAPD Chief William Bratton on Monday morning.

Officials announced Monday there were 381 homicides in 2008, down from 396 the previous year. Violent crimes overall were down 4.2 percent from a year earlier.

Property crimes dropped 2.1 percent from 2007's level and gang-related crime was down in all categories except kidnap.

The homicide rate, though it still averages out at more than one per day of the year, was last year at its lowest level since 1969.

"Violence has subsided in our neighborhoods and gang crime continues to decline, thanks to the remarkable work and the bravery of the men and women of the LAPD," Villaraigosa said during a news conference, adding that L.A.'s crime rate is at its lowest since the Eisenhower administration.

But the mayor said he's still not satisfied and wants to add 200 officers to the force.

The worst year for homicides in Los Angeles was 1992, when there were 1,092 killings.

Police Chief William Bratton credits the drop to a crime-tracking system he has introduced.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.